Our unique supercritical hydrolysis route to cellulosic sugar receives strong interest from commercial partners due to its highly competitive sugar economics.
Unlike acid, solvent, or enzyme based technologies (and hybrids thereof), the Renmatix process does not require costly consumables (catalysts, enzymes) or elaborate recovery systems (for solvents, acids, or both), which leads to lower OPEX and lower CAPEX than these earlier technologies.
The historical processes, while usually capable of conducting hydrolysis, economically suffered from different issues. Acidic conditions requiring high alloy construction, large recovery systems for acid catalysts and solvents, expensive pretreatments to minimize expensive enzyme addition, and multi-day reactors requiring sterility all contribute to cost and scale-up risks. The Renmatix system is a paradigm shift in technology.
The reaction takes place with heat and water, and due to the very fast reactions, the reactors are very small. The small size and design significantly reduce scale-up risk, the use of water as the reactive media simplifies recovery, and state-of-the-art heat recovery engineering has created a process with breakthrough economics.
The reaction time of the Plantrose supercritical hydrolysis process is measured in seconds. On the other hand, older acid based processes take minutes to hours for each step of their reaction. In turn, enzymatic hydrolysis technologies require approximately 5 days. This means tanks filled with biomass will sit for about 5 days, during which efforts must be made to ensure that nothing that likes to eat sugar (contaminants) gets into those tanks. It’s not a trivial process. At the end of the day what these older methods accomplish much more slowly, we do in a matter of seconds. Our reaction is that fast!
These fast reactions dramatically reduce the size and complexity of reactor design. This reduced complexity allows the Renmatix process to be more easily designed and economically scaled for commercial processing than historical technologies. When bringing a new technology to market, there is always talk of scaling-up processes. Doing that for commercial iterations of the Plantrose platform is comparatively easy to do.