US Department of Energy plans to produce cellulosic sugar, lignin

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) seeks input from industry, academia, national laboratories and other biofuels and bioproducts stakeholders to identify existing capabilities to produce lignocellulosic sugars and lignin for use by the research community.

The mission of DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is to develop and transform the country's biomass resources into commercially-viable high performance biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower through targeted research, development, demonstration and deployment (RD&D) supported through public and private partnerships. To facilitate this goal, BETO supports RD&D efforts that advance technologies to produce both (a) drop-in biofuels that can replace gasoline, diesel and jet fuel and (b) biomass-based products and chemicals that can compete with their petroleum-derived counterparts and enable biofuels deployment.

Many conversion technologies that produce these biofuels or bioproducts utilize cellulosic sugars or lignin in their process. As a result, both lignocellulosic sugars and lignin have become necessary intermediates for advancing research towards economically producing biofuels and bioproducts.

Over the past several years, a number of companies have entered this field and are producing lignocellulosic sugars and/or lignin. However, it is not clear how many of these companies are willing and able to sell these products to the research community, and what quantities are available. BETO recognizes that to fully support RD&D efforts to advance technologies using lignocellulosic sugars or lignin, compiling and disseminating information on the availability of these substrates would be beneficial for the industry. Thus, BETO is interested in assessing currently existing capabilities to produce and sell lignocellulosic sugar and/or lignin for use by the research community.