Enabling carbon-negative production of solvents
Posted by | Fuld & Company
A Fortune 500 company and market leader in chemicals and solvent synthesis was part of an industry facing growing awareness and concerns regarding sustainability and carbon footprints. In response, the company wanted to transition to a more sustainable and greener model for manufacturing ethanol.
To identify sustainable/carbon-negative methods of producing ethanol and replace its existing non-renewable methods of synthesis to help the company achieve its carbon-negative goals.
The company wanted to make the entire manufacturing of ethanol a carbon-negative process rather than a carbon-neutral or low-carbon emissions one.
- The following strategies were adopted to help the company achieve its objective:
- modification of the current synthesis processes
- green synthesis
- fermentation technology
- The first challenge was to select the right approach. Chemistry and biotechnology expert teams worked collaboratively to finalize the approach of a more sustainable fermentation technology for the synthesis of ethanol. The fermentation approach would make the production of ethanol carbon-negative and scalable. The second challenge was to select the right set of elements in the manufacturing process to ensure superior quality and energy efficiency compared to the existing methods of fermentation for ethanol production.
- Based on a state-of-the-art study, combined with expert consultation and in-house research, the following highly efficient parameters for fermentation technology, using the latest genetically modified cultures, were established:
- most suitable substrates
- high-efficiency culture
- required enzymes
- fermentation conditions
- post-processing of ethanol
- The suggested method offered the following added advantages:
- energy efficiency
- flexibility with substrates and enzymes
- high yield
- overall negative carbon footprint
- The company tested the recommended carbon-negative ethanol production method at its production site and found it to be practically feasible at a pilot scale, leading to the replacement of the existing synthetic methods.