I am developing new unit operations that will produce value-added products in parallel with existing wood fiber processing industries, such as the paper and composite wood industries. Current efforts are directed at bioconversion of wood-derived hemicellulose extracts. Investigations include: hydrolysis, fermentation, anaerobic digestion, and recovery of organic acids. Process modeling based on laboratory and pilot findings will be applied to identify optimal process configurations.
In Other Words
Currently the forest products industry generates electricity by burning wood wastes and residues. We believe that greater benefits can be derived by extracting valuable products from these wastes before burning them. We are investigating fermentation, similar to the production of beer or wine, though it is much more difficult to do with wood-derived materials than grain or grapes.
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5737 Jenness Hall, Room 311
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469
tel: (207) 581-2226
Image Description: Peter van Walsum