Our processes are Profitable, Clean & Sustainable Changing Liabilities (Waste) to Assets (Energy - Ethanol)

Process Overview

The Genesyst Process converts the cellulose content of biomass to marketable products including fuel grade ethanol. The procedures used are controlled and fully patented in accordance with the WIPO, World Intellectual Property Organisation. It uses proven technologies from the waste water industry to convert the celluloses to the saccharides (or sugars) by the process known as Dilute Acid Hydrolysis a procedure first understood in 1826 and developed from the late 19th Century and through the 20th Century to manufacture fuel grade ethanol for transport use.

The procedure uses the internationally patented Gravity Pressure Vessel (GPV) developed by the founder of Genesyst International Inc., James A Titmas P.Eng who remains intimately involved with Genesyst as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Dilute Acid Hydrolysis is the name given to a process which takes a solution of cellulose and hemi-cellulose in water and breaks it down from a complex polymeric compound to its basic parts the saccharides (or sugars, the simple carbohydrates) freeing them for subsequent fermentation to make ethanol.

The process to extract the saccharides (sugars from the celluloses) needs stimulating and for this it requires a catalyst. Generally a dilute acid is used. The reaction process is nearly instantaneous (it takes a few seconds to occur) and releases profuse quantities of “pent up heat” in a highly exothermic manner and the temperature will rise to over 240oCelsius.

If the process was allowed to take place at standard atmospheric pressure the mixture and solution of celluloses in water would boil explosively. To contain this, the procedure for using dilute acid hydrolysis is always contained under pressure. This situation of balance between pressure and water at a temperature of 240oCelsius is known as Super-Heated Water and provided the combination falls below the “Critical Point” it is called Sub-Critical Water.

Immediately after breaking down the celluloses to its basic parts, the dilute acid (the catalyst) needs neutralising, and for this a dilute alkali, generally one formed from the alkali earths is used. This needs effecting very quickly otherwise the acid in the solution will begin to react with the sugars to form lower order chemicals devoid of the H-OH radicals that make them the sugars and carbohydrates.

Upon neutralising, the sugars, now in solution need cooling rapidly to avoid over cooking. Failure to do this will result in the sugars moving towards anhydrous chemicals (such as furfural) and would then become toxic to the production of ethanol by using fungi (or yeast.)

In its early configuration dilute acid hydrolysis was developed in a batch process (the engineers at the time knew little different) and the sophistication of the equipment we have use of today had not even been thought of. It is worth noting that at the time the process was beginning to be used in 1894 electricity generation and its universal use had not been developed. The Panama Canal was the first major use of electricity on a big scale and that was not completed until 1913!

simple flow schematical


Now with the GPV being developed a new surge of interest has occurred whereby the system can be controlled easily in terms of pressure and temperature reflecting the parallels of the same use in the precursor of wet air oxidation. The process is now controllable in terms of all the parameters needed to produce the sugars needed for making fuel grade ethanol.
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