Sunburst™: The Heart of the Next Generation Biorefinery

Sunburst™ is patented technology that extracts cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin from several types of biomass — from agricultural residues to harvested wood — more cost effectively than any other biomass pretreatment technology on the market today.

Sweetwater has developed and tested multiple types of pretreatment technologies since the company was founded in 2009. As our science and engineering knowledge grew, each generation of our technology became more effective, more efficient, and less costly to build and operate. The culmination of all that research and development is Sunburst™, a pretreatment system so robust and cost effective that it is the first pretreatment technology that will deliver the tremendous promise biomass holds for the world’s fuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials.

Feedstock deconstructed in just 20 seconds.

Plant material, such as chipped hardwood, is fed into one end of Sunburst™ where it is compressed, ground, heated, and a dilute acid is added. In a mere 20 seconds, the wood is ejected from the other end with up to 97% of the hemicellulose and 20% of the cellulose monomerized. 

Since the wood is heated for only 20 seconds and the acid is so dilute, very few inhibitory chemicals form, giving the resulting material unique properties that are of tremendous benefit to many industrial applications.

Sunburst’s™ fabrication and operating costs are extremely low because the system is based on extrusion, a technology that has been the workhorse of countless industries for decades. Uptime, scaleup, and fabrication of extruders have all been refined to the point where they are considered one of the most reliable pieces of equipment available.

A Process that’s Protected.

With more than 25 issued patents, Sweetwater’s unique process is globally recognized.

Sweetwater uses patented and patent-pending technology to efficiently extract highly fermentable sugars, celluloses, including microcrystalline cellulose and nanocellulose, and clean, non-sulfonated lignin from biomass to help meet the modern world’s increasing bioenergy and biochemical needs.

Sweetwater Energy is aware of the importance of patent and trademark protection for its products and unique processes. Accordingly, where possible, patents and trademarks are sought and obtained for Sweetwater products in the United States and all countries of major marketing interest to Sweetwater. We have a patent portfolio of 7 US and 26 issued international patents and have filed additional pending patents in the United States and internationally. Three Sweetwater Energy trademarks have been granted in the U.S. and the mark “Sweetwater Energy” is registered in Europe.

Sweetwater patents and licenses protect the core business model and methods by which Sweetwater makes its products. Our patents and patent applications cover our business methods and provide a commercially-economical model for clean sugar, cellulose and lignin production that reduces not only biomass transportation costs, but covers the economical production and handling of biomass for any energy or chemical purpose.  Sweetwater patents also cover our unique rapid pretreatment processes and separation techniques.

Sweetwater’s patented technology provides significant improvements in pretreatment processes and products making Sweetwater products economically superior over any competitor’s products.

Sweetwater Energy uses a unique technology for producing low-cost nanofibrillated cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, sugars, and clean lignin from non-food plant materials to help meet the modern world's increasing bioenergy and biochemical demands.

Contact Us

2400 Mt. Read Blvd.

Rochester, NY 14615

Call Us: 585-647-5760

Email: [email protected]