What do we mean by Biomass?
Biomass refers to organic materials that come from plants and animals, which can be used as a renewable source for energy and other products. Examples of biomass include corn fiber, switchgrass, pecan shells, and rice hulls. These materials contain stored energy from the sun, captured during photosynthesis. Our technology is uniquely designed to handle a diverse range of these biomass sources, allowing it to be incredibly adaptable. By converting such biomass materials into useful products, we not only reduce waste but also help divert significant amounts of organic material away from landfills, contributing to a more sustainable future.
Why it Matters
The vast amounts of biomass waste generated in the U.S., totaling approximately 702 million dry tons annually. Currently, only 5% of this waste is utilized for energy, leaving a significant environmental and energy potential on the table. Harnessing this biomass can not only provide a sustainable energy source, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, but also mitigate environmental concerns, such as methane emissions from decomposing waste in landfills. This is where SIEV's technology comes in. We are able to obtain upwards of 90% conversion rate from various biomass waste like corn fiber and rice hulls in a single step process.
What Makes Us Different?
Unlike traditional methods that may require multiple steps, our single-step bolt-on system efficiently converts biomass waste into biochemicals, like fermentable sugars and levulinic acid, eliminating the need for enzymes or time-consuming pretreatments. Our custom catalyst and membrane enable hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass at an impressive efficiency, often surpassing conventional treatment approaches. The incorporation of environmentally friendly, reusable membrane catalysts, paired with our process's energy-saving attributes and quick turnaround time, positions our technology as not only innovative but also sustainable and cost-effective. This focus on sustainability extends to our use of low-value biomass, ensuring we don't compete with food supply chains. In essence, SIEV offers a solution that's efficient, sustainable, and tailored for the future of bio-based products.
Our patented technology was developed through National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research. Below is a list of current issued patents:
- Wickramasinghe, R., et al., (2016). Catalytic membranes and application thereof. (U.S. Patent No. 9339803B2). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- Wickramasinghe, R., et al., (2018). Catalytic membranes and application thereof. (U.S. Patent No. 10118168B2). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- Wickramasinghe, R., et al., (2021). Catalytic membranes and application thereof. (E.U. Patent No. EP2773458B). European Patent Office.
- Wickramasinghe, R., et al., (2021). Catalytic membranes and application thereof. (U.S. Patent No. US2016/0256861 A1). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.