PVT Breaks Ground on New Pilot PlantJuly 12, 2012
PureVision Technology, Inc. (PVT), a privately held renewable technology development company, has broken ground on constructing a pilot plant as an integral step in its technology scale-up initiative. The company expansion includes installation of PVT’s proprietary Continuous Countercurrent Reactor (CCR) in the new integrated pilot plant. PVT’s CCR technology rapidly transforms biomass into low-cost fermentation sugars and other useful chemical components for manufacturing biobased chemicals and products. The development of the PVT integrated pilot plant began earlier this year with construction of a 22 x 42-foot operations room to house the CCR and other necessary biorefining unit operations. As part of the integrated pilot plant, PVT is also constructing a dedicated feedstock handling room to weigh and transport biomass feedstocks to the CCR within the operations room. The company expects to begin conducting pilot-scale biomass-to-sugar testing during September of this year. Initially, the new pilot plant will be used to conduct biomass-to-sugars technology scale-up programs on behalf of PVT clients beginning during the 4th quarter of 2012.
“The prospects for economical production of bio-based chemicals and fuels from biomass will depend on the availability of low cost sugars," said Dr. Richard Wingerson, inventor of the PVT biorefining technology and the company’s Chief Technology Officer. “The PVT technical team has demonstrated that our technology can rapidly produce sugars from biomass at the small scale without using enzymes or harsh chemical conditions. With our new fully integrated continuous pilot plant, we expect to demonstrate and more accurately validate the process and economics of this unique technology,” he said.
PVT is located in the historic Fort Lupton Industrial Center within an 8.5-acre industrial campus that includes the company’s corporate headquarters, R&D facilities and machine shop. The PVT R&D facility has approximately 18,000 square feet of buildings that house the ½ dry ton per day CCR and two bench-scale flow-through reactors, along with laboratories, feedstock processing infrastructure, and a machine shop. Abundant outside space and other buildings are available in the industrial park for feedstock storage, handling and future expansion.
The PVT innovation uses non-food cellulosic biomass including wood, agricultural residues, energy crops and grasses. Sugars derived from cellulosic biomass are raw material that can be used to replace oil-based products. Unlike competing biomass conversion processes, the PVT technology rapidly converts biomass into a concentrated stream of mixed sugars, without the use of enzymes or concentrated acid. The PVT technology has been demonstrated at process development scale. PVT expects to be able to produce up to barrel-size quantities of concentrated mixed sugars from its pilot plant available for interested parties by this November.
“The pilot plant operations room has been constructed and the CCR equipment has been moved into position,” continued Wingerson. “Over the next several months, PVT will be working to complete the project and begin processing biomass in the CCR. This will be a giant step for our company, and we anticipate a leap forward for the entire biorefining industry.”