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From: donpat5/5/2016 12:07:54 PM
   of 14
 
United States Patent7,955,508
Allan , et al.June 7, 2011
Supercritical fluid biomass conversion systems

Abstract
Disclosed herein are supercritical fluid biomass conversion machines, systems, and methods for converting a wide range of biomass materials into a plurality of reaction products including fermentable sugars and various aromatic substances. In one embodiment, a method is disclosed that comprises the steps of: providing an extruder; conveying a mixture of the selected biomass material and water through the extruder and into a supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone; heating and further pressurizing the mixture within the supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone to yield at least supercritical water, wherein heat energy is supplied by means of an induction heating coil positioned circumferentially about the supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone; retaining the mixture within the supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone for a period of time sufficient to yield the plurality of reaction products; and separating the plurality of reaction products into at least a water soluble fraction and an organic solvent soluble fraction.

Inventors:
Allan; Graham (Kenmore, WA), Loop; Thomas E. (Seattle, WA), Flynn; James D. (Auburn, WA)

Assignee:
Xtrudx Technologies, Inc. (Auburn, WA)

Family ID: 41799833
Appl. No.: 12/402,489
Filed: March 11, 2009



What is claimed is:

1. A method for converting a selected biomass material into a plurality of reaction products, the method comprising the steps of: providing an extruder that defines an elongated biomass conveying zone, wherein the extruder comprises two or more elongated rotatable flighted shafts positioned in a side-by-side and intermeshing relationship, and wherein the extruder is configured to continuously convey the selected biomass material together with water from an upstream biomass inlet to a supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone while increasing the pressure of the selected biomass material and water from about atmospheric at the biomass inlet to greater than about 22.1 MPa at the supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone; conveying a mixture of the selected biomass material and water through the elongated biomass conveying zone and into the supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone; heating and further pressurizing the mixture within the supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone to yield at least supercritical water, wherein heat energy is supplied by means of an induction heating coil positioned circumferentially about the supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone; retaining the mixture within the supercritical fluid biomass conversion zone for a period of time sufficient to yield the plurality of reaction products; and expelling the plurality of reaction products out of the supercritical fluid reaction zone and into a reaction products separation zone.


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