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Renmatix has unveiled details of its Plantrose supercritical hydrolysis process for making industrial sugars from plant biomass. The company discussed the process at its soon-to-be-completed headquarters and research facility in King of Prussia, Pa., saying it will enable a new generation of cost-effective biobased fuels and chemicals. Key to the process, the firm says, is dissolving the biomass in water heated to supercritical temperatures. The water’s pH can then be adjusted to free up C5 and C6 sugars. Other companies depend on enzymes, acid hydrolysis, or gasification to break down biomass. Renmatix operates a demonstration plant in Kennesaw, Ga., and plans to build a commercial plant in the northeastern U.S. beginning in 2012.
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