Lignol teams with Suncor to commercialize cellulosic ethanol technology
VANCOUVER, BC- Lignol Innovations, a subsidiary of Lignol Energy Corporation, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Suncor Energy Products granting Suncor right of first refusal to build the first cellulosic ethanol commercial demonstration plant in Canada using Lignol technology. "This new relationship with Suncor represents a significant milestone for us, as we advance our commercialization strategy," said Lignol president and CEO Ross MacLachlan. Vancouver-based Lignol has acquired and since modified, a solvent-based pretreatment technology originally developed by a subsidiary of General Electric. The pre-treatment technology was previously commercialized in a major pulp mill by Repap with an investment of over $100 million (Cdn). Having acquired the technology, plant operations and related engineering data, together with the original GE pilot plant, Lignol is now integrating these components with its recently-acquired process capabilities for converting cellulose to ethanol. Aided by funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the company has succeeded in producing ethanol and other biochemicals from both hardwood and softwood species commonly found in Canadian forests. A biorefinery based on Lignol technology would convert a range of cellulosic feedstocks into a series of marketable organic chemicals and liquid fuels. This is analagous to the separation process used by oil refineries to produce a range of products from crude oil, such as gasoline, heating oil, jet fuel, and petrochemicals. More information is available on Lignol's Web site, www.lignol.ca.