Saturday, February 12, 2011

No. 242: Technology to produce sugar for resins and textile materials from woodchips (February 12, 2011)

Toray developed the technology for effective production of sugar for materials of resins and textile materials from woodchips and rice straws. The company reduced the amount of impurities in the solution, which is created in the process of crushing woodchips into pieces, to less than one tenth. Sugar can be produced should a plant be dissolved with the help of enzyme, and it creates alcohol should it be fermented with the help of microorganisms like enzyme. Research activities to produce sugar are growing widespread because sugar can be used for materials of resins. Because woodchips have lots of hard plant fiber, they have to turn into a sugar solution without impurities for application. Toray eliminated impurities by filtrating the solution through three kinds of films originally used for effluent treatment and succeeded in eliminating substances that disturb the fermentation in the post-process efficiently. In addition, it increased the sugar concentration to 20% that is about four times as high as the present level. High concentration and small amount of impurities made it possible to utilize various microorganisms designed for fermentation and opened up the way to produce raw materials for resins, films, and fiber. The company also successfully collected half the amount of the enzyme used for dissolution.

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