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Thermochemical pre-treatment

The Thermochemical Pretreatment testbed can be used to break down biomass in order to more easily access and expose desired structures or molecules within the biomass. For example, the testbed can break down cellulose materials from hemicellulose and lignin in chips to access the sugar molecules in cellulose.

The testbed consists of a reactor and an expansion vessel. The reactor has a volume of 40 liters and can withstand a pressure of approximately 30 bar, a maximum temperature of 225°C, and a wide pH range. Different types of biomass can be treated with direct steam or with jacket steam for faster reactor heating.

When emptying the reactor, a steam explosion of the material occurs due to the pressure difference between the reactor and the expansion vessel, which opens up the biomass structure and makes the biomass polymers more accessible for subsequent processes. There is also the possibility of pretreatment with the addition of sulfur dioxide (SO2).

Depending on the desired outcome, the next step could be, for example, enzymatic hydrolysis in one of RISE's bioreactors. If a dewatered product is desired, the pretreated mass can be dewatered in one of the existing filter presses or screw presses at RISE in Örnsköldsvik for further treatment in other process steps.


Test & Demo name

Thermochemical pre-treatment


Testbeds in real life (TR)


Process industry




Region Västernorrland

Jonna Almqvist

Contact person

Jonna Almqvist


+46 10 516 67 70

Read more about Jonna

Contact Jonna
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