In March, the Sweetwater team working on the Sweetwoods project in Estonia marked a milestone by completing the first 24-hour commercial-scale run of Sunburst™, and over the following three months the Sweetwoods consortium has built on that success.

The Sweetwoods plant uses sustainable hardwood to demonstrate how Sunburst, in combination with innovative enzymatic solutions, can provide high-quality lignin and wood sugars at an industrial scale. The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) funded project is now ready to ship out industrially representative samples of high-purity, near-native lignin and wood sugars at the ton scale.

The high quality of the sugar translates into top fermentation performances for the production of isobutene. Global Bioenergies, a partner in the Sweetwoods Consortium, has tested the new cellulosic sugars at lab scale and pilot scale and found that they promote biomass growth and allow for high productivity of isobutene. The consortium has now initiated demo-scale isobutene production campaigns.

“We have been collaborating with Global Bioenergies for quite some time now and I am very impressed by the unique fermentation process delivering such good results on our sugars. Looking forward to completing the next steps and realizing the 2nd generation sugar to IBN (isobutene) route on an industrial scale one day,” says partner Graanul Biotech´s product manager Karl Peebo.