patented technology, extensively proven at bench-scale, provides a critical
process to effectively convert cellulose and hemicellulose into sugars in
biorefineries. Once the cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin are separated in the
PureVision fractionation process they become feedstocks for producing a
wide range of bio-products for many industries including but not limited to
energy, transportation, agri-business, textiles, building products,
pharmaceuticals, bio-plastics and paper industries.
The biomass fractionation process includes:
1. The unique, continuous pretreatment of biomass;
2. The production of a purified cellulose product and separated wash
streams containing the lignin and hemicellulose from biomass; and
3. Preparation of the purified cellulose fraction for either enzymatic
conversion into sugar, which can then be converted to ethanol or
alternatively for pulp and paper products.
Because of the unique chemical composition of pulp produced from the
PureVision fractionation process, potential commercial applications include
paper, substitutions for wood pulp, non wood pulp and synthetically processed
cellulose pulp. These pulps can be used in all forms of papers as well as a
wide range of other materials including dissolving pulps for producing rayon,
Lyocell and cellulose acetate fibers used in both textile and technical
applications, fiber for automotive composites, and building products.
Most of the company’s technical staff has been involved in on-going biomass
processing evaluations at the Golden, Colorado research facility located at the
Hazen Research, Inc.’s industrial campus. In addition to the engineers that
operate the company’s PDU, PureVision technical staff is involved in technical
and economic evaluations of different biomass feedstocks.
To determine the process and economic feasibility of developing a cellulosic
biorefinery in a given location, PureVision undertakes a Preliminary Feasibility
Study. Planning to develop a biorefinery begins with identifying a year-round
supply of cellulosic feedstock in a given location, typically not to exceed a 50-
mile radius. This location should be able to provide one or more feedstocks
such as wheat straw, corn stalks, wood, etc. to a well-situated biorefinery.
Once the source of biomass feedstock is identified, the biorefinery developers
must investigate the logistics and costing to acquire the feedstock for the
At this point, PureVision can begin working with the developer to determine
the potential location, size, biorefinery end products, financing and the
economics of converting the biomass into products. If the end product
involves a fermentation and distillation step, PureVision collaborators include
companies with expertise in this well-understood fermentation and distillation,
Operation and Maintenance Requirements
While each biorefinery development using the PureVision fractionation
technology may differ significantly by type of feedstocks, primary product and
co-products, scale of operation, financing opportunities, etc., all projects will
share the need for similar information, documentation, infrastructure and
• A quantitative evaluation to supply a biorefinery with specific feedstock(s).
• A determination if target feedstock(s) need to be fractionated on a small-
• A site-specific analysis to evaluate potential sites to locate a biorefinery. This
study will include documenting the feedstock availability and supply in the
target location, infrastructure requirements, a transportation study, and a
review of regulatory issues.
• A preliminary economic evaluation addressing long-term feedstock supplies
contracts and the market/pricing for product and co-products that would be
produced at the biorefinery.
• A preliminary biorefinery project feasibility study inclusive of presenting the
financial parameters including the costing, financing, and return on investment
projections of the proposed project.
This study is expected to take approximately four-to-six months to complete.
Specific Considerations for Developing Countries
Research study that will include determining fiber characteristics of wheat
straw for pulp and other markets.
To identify potential fiber markets including various paper and non-paper
applications such as synthetically processed cellulose pulp.
Preliminary results from Western Research Institute indicate that a >99%
clean cellulose product has been achieved. This should equate to a much
lower cellulase enzyme loading requirement to enzymatically hydrolyze
cellulose into glucose. It is this reduced cellulase requirement that could
provide the most significant cost savings in the technology.
Since 2003, PureVision has been using a continuous, small-scale process
development unit (PDU) with a throughput of about 200 pounds per day of
biomass. Having successfully proven the benefits of the patented PureVision
biomass conversion process, the company is constructing a larger pilot plant
with a throughput of about 3 tons per day of biomass.
Economic instruments for overcoming barriers
PureVision Technology, Inc., a leader in developing biorefining technologies,
announced a $990,000 financial assistance award with the U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE). The grant is a continuation of the $1,860,000 2005 Biomass
Program partially funded by DOE and will enable PureVision to continue
optimizing its biorefinery technology using corn stover.
Examples of Real Life Applications
Commercial Use PureVision Technology, Inc. Ft. Lupton, Colorado
PureVision Technology, Inc.
Fort Lupton, CO 80621
Contact Number: 303-857-4530
Mezcal Production from Maguey
Special grinding mill, Wooden barrel
Low Grade Alcohol
Detailed Process Description
The Process for Making Mezcal
Mezcal is the generic name for all spirits distilled from the agave, as well as
the name of a beverage similar to tequila.
1. Maguey or Agave Plant. Maguey, Agave cantala Roxb. plant used to make
mezcal is called agave (”ah-gah-vay”) or maguey (”mah-gay”). Occasionally it
is called a “Century plant” in English because it can grow to be very large and
has a long life-span (not really a century, more like 25 to 30 years).
Sometimes mistaken for a type of cactus, it in fact belongs to a separate
family, Agavaceae. The agave only flowers once in its lifetime, putting forth a
tall stem from the center, and the plant dies after flowering. The agave that is
used to make mezcal is harvested when it is seven or eight years old.
2. The Agave Piñas. After the agave is harvested, the spines of the plant are
cut off and the remaining heart, called the piña (which means pineapple,
because of its resemblance to the fruit), can weigh up to 100 kg (220 pounds).
3. The pit in which the agave is roasted. This is the stone-lined pit in which the
agave piñas will be roasted. First a fire is started in the base of the pit, with
river stones placed on top. When the rocks are red-hot, the piñas, which have
been cut in half or in quarters, are placed in the pit. The whole thing is then
covered with agave leaves and fiber and straw mats, piled up with earth and
left to roast for four days.
4. The roasted agave. When four days have passed, the roasted piñas are
removed from the pit. The roasted agave is sweet and it’s often sold in
markets in Mexico in chunks to be eaten. The tough fiber is chewed, then
5. Crushing the agave. The roasted agave is crushed at a special grinding mill
with a stone wheel pulled by a horse or mule.
6. Fermentation of the agave. After the agave is crushed, it is placed in
wooden barrels with water and left to ferment for several days.
7. Distillation. After the fermentation, the mash is distilled. The first distillation
yields low-grade alcohol. The fibers are then removed from the still and the
alcohol from the first distillation is distilled a second time.
8. Mezcal. After the second distillation, the mezcal is blended to obtain a
consistent grade of alcohol. Then, the mezcal is either bottled or left to age in
9. Mezcal Presentations. Mezcal is sold in various formats:
Mezcal blanco is aged not at all, or up to two months.
Mezcal reposado is aged between 6 months and one year.
Mezcal añejo is aged for at least a year.
Sometimes a worm that lives inside the agave plant is added to the mezcal at
the time it is bottled. Some people say that the worm adds to the flavor of the
mezcal, but it may just be a marketing gimmick. There are also cremas de
mezcal which are sweetened and come in a variety of flavors, such as
coconut, coffee and passionfruit.
Advantages to Developing Countries
Maguey endures diversified climatic conditions and does not require abundant
or evenly distributed rainfall.
Fertile soil is not a requisite, thus, unproductive ones like rocky soil is still
suitable for maguey production. It is also adapted to undulating or hill areas
and grows even along the seashore.
Method of Propagation
Applying fertilizer is optional. However, its application will greatly improve the
growth of the plant. The 6-9-12 N-P-K fertilizer mixture, about 200 to 300 kilos
per hectare per year is recommended.
Disadvantages to Developing Countries
The continuous growth and development of the Philippine maguey industry is
hampered by production and market related problems such as:
Inefficient fiber extraction method
Old, sparsely planted or abandoned maguey plantations
Long gestation period before harvest (four years from planting)
Low returns from production
Example of Real Life Applications
Level of Use: Commercial
Location: Rosario, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur
Jean F. Paet - President
Cervantes Ilocos Sur Women Development Center Inc.
Maker of Maguey Slippers, Bags, Hats & Novelties
Rosario, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested