Carbo Analytics, developers of sugar analysis systems, has received a Department of Energy (DOE) grant for the development of a biofuels sugar analysis system. The company was awarded a $150,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for FY 2013. Their application “Simple and Rapid Determination of Total Accessible C5 and C6 Content of Biomass Samples” was one of 79 that were selected to receive this grant.
Carbo Analytics has partnered with CEM Corporation, the worldwide leader in microwave digestion systems, to prepare biomass samples. According to the company, this combined solution will give biofuel operators increased visibility into feedstock quality.
Fermentable sugar content of a given material is directly related to the total amount of biofuel that can be produced. Now, a simple and fast method for sugar measurement allows raw material value to be readily assessed. It also allows biofuel operators to flag potential feedstock problems and facilitate suppliers in developing and supplying the highest value products.
“We are excited to be partnering with Carbo Analytics,” said Michael J. Collins, President and CEO of CEM Corporation. “The powerful combination of their sugar analysis system and our microwave digester makes for a unique capability that no other technology can currently match.”
Renewable energy from bioethanol involves pretreatment of biomass, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation, and distillation. Biomass contains the C6 sugars (e.g. glucose, fructose and mannose), primarily from cellulose, and C5 sugars (e.g. xylose, and arabinose) from the hemicellulose part of the plant material. Fast measurement of these sugars is the key indicator of feedstock value and the potential production of a biofuel plant.
“We are honored by this grant award and look forward to working with CEM,” added Thomas Reilly, Ph.D., Chief Technical Officer of Carbo Analytics.
“These funds enable us to get the joint solution in the hands of biofuel operators even sooner. CEM is a world-class company with visionary products and a stellar product development and customer support team. Coupling the technologies opens the door for the creation of valued products that will change the game for the assessment of raw materials in not only the biofuels industry, but also in brewing and foods and beverage industries where sugars are also fundamental ingredients,” Reilly concluded.