Cellulose Sciences International (CSI) was established in 2007. Its Mission is to develop innovative methods for the utilization of cellulosic biomass, our most abundant renewable resources, both for the production of renewable energy and as feedstocks in the production of commercially viable cellulosic materials and biobased products.
The primary feedstock in the production of ethanol is glucose. It is the basic building block of both cellulose and starch. Both occur in all plant biomass, the cellulose as the key structural component of cell walls and the starch as the primary form of storage of glucose. Starch has been the favored feedstock for the production of glucose for fermentation to ethanol and other biofuels because it is easy to disassemble into glucose. Cellulose is inherently more difficult to convert to glucose because of its resistance to disassembly by enzymes or acids.
The key technologies targeted by CSI have as their foundation patented processes that simultaneously produce celluloses in nanoporous forms that are very accessible to enzymes and modifying reagents, while at the same time extracting non-polymeric phytochemicals in the plant biomass.
Novelty of CSI Approach
The primary novelty of the processes developed by CSI is that they can be carried out at ambient temperature and pressure and require only the use of simple and inexpensive commercially available reagents. They are much more simple than procedures previously described in the scientific literature for the pretreatment of biomass. Operation at ambient temperature and pressure require much lower capital investment and operating costs.
Collaborations and Partnerships
Because the opportunities for the utilization of plant biomass are manifold, CSI has adopted an approach to commercialization based on collaborations and partnerships with companies committed to utilization of our planet’s most abundant renewable resources.