Evaluation of Tobacco Biomass for Bio-Plastics Production
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Tyton BioEnergy Systems (Tyton), a biotechnology company focused on developing tobacco as a renewable biofuel, has developed unique varieties strands of tobacco that can serve as an alternative feedstock for bio-based manufacturing. The company is looking for market research analysis and recommendations to best position itself in the biofuels and green chemicals industry using their tobacco glucose which has three times the amount of the commercial varieties. These unique plant characteristics combined with Tyton’s patent-pending, hydrothermal extraction technology enables the company to sell sugars and oils at a more competitive price than corn, soy, and other cellulosic feedstocks. Based on market research and interviews, the team identified a potential short-term sugar opportunity for Tyton: Polylactic Acid (PLA) bio-based plastics. Although the report outlines a medium-term and long-term strategy of identifying and expressing high value chemicals directly in the tobacco biomass, it focuses on the short-term solutions. In addition to providing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and an economic analysis of tobacco versus corn sugars for PLA production, the team has also identified potential bio-based plastic manufacturing partners.
CitationRowe, Diana; Taccioli, Pablo; & Ocariz Arce, Juan Jose (2016). Evaluation of Tobacco Biomass for Bio-Plastics Production. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11853.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment