SASKATOON, SK, October 9, 2007 - A new biomass extraction processing line being assembled at POS Pilot Plant will maximize the amount of oil extracted from biomass, yield profitable by-products, and recycle the solvent used during processing. Depending on biomass composition, extraction capacity will approach 2 tonnes of dried biomass per day - making the technology ideal for contract R&D at the pilot plant scale, as well as for small scale specialty toll processing.
Initially, POS intends to focus on projects involving biomass from algae and yeast. Algae- and yeast-based biomass are important sources of ingredients for wellness and personal care products. Biomass can be genetically engineered to produce desirable ingredients such as DHA, EPA, or other polyunsaturated oil components known to promote and maintain health. Recently, algae biomass created via photosynthetic microbial bioproduction techniques has gained attention as a feedstock for biofuels production because its conversion to fuel requires less energy and does not compete with food crops.
“Extracting oil from algae biomass or other microorganisms on a continuous industrial scale requires specialized equipment for rupturing the resilient cell walls,” explains Dr. Paul Fedec, Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs. “Our recently purchased beadmill is ideal for achieving the degree of lysing required to effectively and efficiently extract all the oil from the biomass. The mill can even be used to generate nano-sized particles.”
Following cell disruption in the beadmill, POS will separate the oil/solvent miscella from the spent biomass, and desolventize the spent biomass for use in animal feed. The solvent is recovered for future use.
Installation of the new biomass extraction processing line is scheduled to be complete by the end of January 2008.
For more information, contact:
Paul Fedec, PhD
Vice President, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs
POS Pilot Plant Corporation