High-quality co-product lignin

The process also produces natural, unarnished lignin of a quality not available on the market today and which is an enabler of entirely new products generations / applications.

lx-process | major applications

2G BIOFUELS

The LX-Process cracks 2G biomass and can readily be adapted for large-scale 2G ethanol manufacturing but is also inversely scalable, enabling economic retrofit of smaller, decentralized biogas plants.

2G BIOCHEMICALS

The LX-Process eliminates a principle hurdle faced in bio-processing, namely the presence / concentration of inhibitors, which are formed in all existing 2G pre-treatment methods.

NATURAL LIGNIN

The LX-Process produces an unparalleled quality of natural lignin as a co-product. This quality is not available today and promises to enable a host of new, disruptive technologies a variety of areas.

applications | summary

2G Biofuels

  • In today’s biogas plants, approximately half of the substrate ends up as fertilizer because the bacteria cannot metabolize it. The “LX-pretreatment-process” essentially cracks this digestate, making it available for fermentation and increasing efficiency / yields by up to 100%.
  • Economically viable in small-scale environment (> 500kWEL)
  • Retrofit of existing biogas plants easily done on a modular basis
  • Operating flexibility vastly improves as a whole range of new substrates, such as agricultural straws, can be fermented
  • Technology operates at low temperatures (70°C), enabling use of residual waste heat
  • Economics on a larger scale (e.g. 2G Bioethanol) are even more compelling
  • Potential for additional revenue stream from co-product (high-quality lignin)
  • Highly favorable ecological impact (“food vs. fuel”)
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2G Biochemicals

  • 1st generation biochemical manufacturing processes (i.e. using food feedstocks instead of crude oil) are rapidly developing for many chemical intermediates and polymers.- Most bio-based products, such as 1,4 butandiol (BDO), succinic acid, acrylic acid and adipic acid, are considered to be “drop-in” replacements for their petrochemical counterparts.
  • Furthermore, unique bio-based polymers (without a petrochemical equivalent) are also developing quickly, with Polylactic acid (PLA) already being widely used today for a wide range of (biodegradable) products.
  • By implementing the LX-Process, all of these products (and many more) can be manufactured from 2G feedstocks!
  • All biochemical applications promise to profit immensely from increased operating flexibility as a whole range of new substrates, such as agricultural straws but also wood, can be used.
  • Potential for additional revenue stream from co-product high-quality lignin
  • Highly favorable ecological impact (“food vs. fuel”)
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Natural Lignin

  • Lignin is a non-toxic, extremely versatile and highly abundant raw material with excellent adhesive and dispersant characteristics.
  • The lignin available today is mostly tarnished and of a low quality, i.e. the different production processes chemically alter the lignin and leave impurities (sulfur, carbohydrates) and inhibitors that cannot be economically removed.
  • The LX process allows for a virtually unparalleled grade of soluble, sulfur-free lignin with very little residual carbohydrates.
  • This opens the floodgate for entirely new generations of products to be developed, for example:
    1. as an additive for various plastics,
    2. as an additive in paints, resins and glues,
    3. as a raw material for carbon fiber,
    4. as a part replacement for phenol in phenol resins, and
    5. for the production of natural aromas, i.e. for the food industry.
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expertise | specialized knowledge

Management

Frank Schneider

CEO

Frank began his career in 1992 at Deutsche Bank in Germany, where he spent many years in the bank’s M&A / corporate finance practice following an initial 2 year assignment working directly for a member of the bank’s managing board (“Vorstand”).  In his time as an investment banker, he worked for a range of leading German and international companies, gaining experience in a variety of industries and different types of corporate finance transactions.

Dr. Katrin Streffer

COO, Founder

Dr. Katrin Streffer Katrin is the Co-Founder of LXP. Prior to founding LXP (formerly maxbiogas) in 2009, she was the Head of R&D of a medtech company, financed by venture capital. At the beginning of her career, Katrin worked as a Research Associate at the Charité – University Medicine Berlin on her own project. Her work was mainly focused on the development of new laboratory tests. In 2007 she joined the start-up medtech company, Gilupi GmbH. In her position as a Chief Scientific Officer she was responsible for the management of R&D projects and product development, e.g. the development of the CellCollector® the first CE approved in vivo CTC isolation product worldwide. She holds a degree in chemistry from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, and a PhD in Analytical Biochemistry from the University of Potsdam, Germany. She is author and co-author of multiple scientific publications. She speaks German (native) and English (fluent) and is married with two children.

Jaska Harm

CFO

Jaska has been an advisor in the international real estate and energy industry for almost 20 years. He has been advising German and US based open and closed end funds as well as international family offices in all kind of phases in the life cycle of an investment. The total transaction volume for projects he has worked on so far exceeds EUR 4bn. The largest funds he advised are Deka Bank in Frankfurt (€20bn), Transcontinental Investors, Inc. in New York (€2bn) and Ablon Group in London (€6bn) with average projects, respectively transactions of EUR 20-100m, whereas the smallest range from EUR 2 to 10m for family offices, respectively private placements. In each transaction Jaska Harm was responsible for co-ordination, controlling and management including all financials for all phases during the complete project. Jaska holds a Masters Degree in Business from University of Saarland. He is a German and Finish native speaker and business-fluent in English. He is married with four children.

Dr. Friedrich Streffer

CTO, Founder

In 2001, after a stage at the Hahn Meitner Institute, Friedrich turned to a consultant for software development processes and project management. Examples of his professional activities are Lead software engineer for payment terminal projects in the German market for Gieseke & Devrient, Ingenico S.A. (a French global leader in seamless payment) and Banksys ( now part of Atos Worldline, a major European player specializing in electronic payment services, CRM and eservices), Senior consultant for software development process spanning the Business and IT department (SEB, Sweden & Germany, leading banking group in Northern Europe), Project manager of a data pool migration project from Italy to Germany, Budget > €1.5 Mio (Bürgel, Economic Information Service) and test manager for the SEPA payment scheme (SEB, Schweden, leading banking group in Northern Europe). Friedrich is co-founder of LXP (formerly maxbiogas) and currently responsible for the process development. He is spokesman for “Biobased Fine Chemicals” of the Brandenburg Cluster “Plastics and Chemistry”. Friedrich earned his PhD in biophysical chemistry from the TU Berlin. He is the author of more than 20 numerous scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, such as Physical Review Letters, European Journal of Biochemistry and Journal of Chemical Physics, and appeared in close cooperation with groups of the Rutherford Appleton Labs (Oxford, UK), the Biomedical Center (Uppsala, Sweden) and is inventor of more than 40 patents and patent applications in the field of biotechnology. He speaks German (native) and English (business fluent) and he is married with two children.

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Advisors

Dr. Hans Jürgen Wernicke

Dr. Hans Jürgen Wernicke joined the team to strengthen the expertise in chemical, biochemical and biotechnological industrial processes.

Dr. Hans Jürgen Wernicke studied chemistry at the University of Kiel, Germany. After receiving his Ph.D., he joined the Linde Group in Munich, Germany where he held various positions in the development, acquisition and start-up of petrochemical processes. In 1985, he joined Süd-Chemie AG, Munich, Germany. His professional career brought him to several years stay in South Africa and in the US. In 1996 he became a Member of the Executive Board and its Vice-Chairman in 2007. Since his retirement in 2011, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of the biotechnology company Biocatalysts, Cardiff, UK and in 2015 he became a member of the advisory board of LXP. He serves in several other Boards as a Non-executive Director and Advisor. Dr. Wernicke held the position of Chairman of DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V (Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) from 2009–2012, and is a founding member of the Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Katalyse (German Catalysis Society). Among others he was a member of the Research and of the Trade Committee of the Chemical Industry Association (VCI) and member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Bayreuth. He is a member of the Board of Curators of the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis, Rostock.

Manfred Baumgartner

Manfred Baumgartner is the former Chairman of the Board of the Avia Mineralöl AG (revenues €2.7bn) and supports LXP with its market entry strategy and business development.

Mr. Baumgartner studied business economics at the University of Regensburg, after which he began his career initially as an advisor and later as the head of different business units of planning, market research and marketing for Agip Deutschland AG in Munich, including a two-year business development exchange with Agip Petroli in Rome. Since 1998, he was managing director of Deutsche AVIA Mineralöl GmbH (holding company) as well as of a number of subsidiaries e.g. wind farms and fuel card systems. Furthermore, he was a member of the board of management of the Avia International and Avia Mineralöl AG. Since 1999 he was the chairman of the board of the Avia Mineralöl AG. An important process during his time as a chairman for Avia was the successful restructuring of Avia from a fuel trader to an energy provider. Mr. Baumgartner retired from the management board in 2013.

Prof. Dr. Ing. Gerhard Schembecker

Prof. Dr. G. Schembecker, Chair for Process Design at Dortmund University, joined the team to strengthen the expertise in process and plant design.

Prof. Schembecker received his diploma as well as his Ph.D. and Habilitation in Chemical Engineering from TU Dortmund University in Germany. He is co-founder of the consultancy firm Process Design Center (PDC) with offices in Europe and the USA. As President and CEO of PDC he has worked in more than 100 industrial design projects for the chemical industry. In 2005 Dr. Schembecker was appointed Professor for Plant and Process Design at the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering of TU Dortmund University. His research focuses on the conceptual design and simulation of biochemical processes with special interest in downstream processes and on modular plant design. His laboratory hosts the CLIB technology platform Downstream Processing.

Dr. Dieter Wullbrandt

Dr. Dieter Wullbrandt, born in 1953, graduated from Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina, Brunswick, Germany with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. After graduation he worked for the Hoechst AG / Aventis Research Technologies GmbH in Frankfurt-on-Main and held a number of positions in different scientific areas such as organic and biotechnological catalysis and process engineering. As the Head of Hoechst AG’s New Business Unit “Devoferm”, he was responsible for scientific and industrial research in the field of biotechnology.

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Investors

MIG Fonds

MIG Fonds are public venture capital funds. With a total volume of more than 800 million Euros MIG Fonds provide venture capital to young, non-listed companies located in German-speaking regions and are active in areas like pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, cleantech, new materials and computer science. The MIG Fonds offers private investors a chance to participate directly in the portfolio of promising tech companies.

KfW

The KfW banking group is one of the world´s leading promotional banks. With its decades of experience, KfW is committed to improving economic, social and environmental living conditions all around the world on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany and the federal states. To do this, KfW supplied funds totalling EUR 79.3 billion in 2015 alone; and of this, 37 % went into measures for protecting the environment and combating climate change.

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Funded Projects

Funded Projects

  • German-funded project “Microbial lactic acid production from renewable lignocellulosic biomass residues pre-treated with LX-Process”
  • German-funded project “Simultane Verzuckerung und Fermentation amorpher Kohlenhydrate aus chemisch konditionierten Gärrückständen zu Ethanol”
  • EU-funded project “Technical and market-based review of lignin utilization possibilities to increase the profitability of biogas plants”
  • German-funded project “Development of a new method for lignin for material use of lignin”
  • German-funded project “New recovery techniques for plant residues for the production of cellulose for energy and raw materials of the 21st century”, Poster “Energy efficient utilization of plant residues in biogas processes” summarized first results.
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technology | overview of process
technology | overview of process

LX Pretreatment Process

  • Lignin is the complex polymer responsible for the woodiness of plants and typically accumulates over time, filling the space between the cellulose strands and imparting the plant the strength to grow larger (in many ways similar to the role that concrete fills in a steel-reinforced structure).
  • The patented the proprietary “LX-Process” essentially cracks the lignin strands, exposing the cellulose and hemicellulose, both of which are essentially complex sugars, and makes all three components available and separable for further processing.
  • Technically, the LX-Process involves a chemical pretreatment cycle at normal atmospheric pressure and low temperatures (ca. 70°C), followed by precipitation of the cellulose and lignin and separation / filtration of each component.
  • The low temperatures make the technology perfectly suitable to take advantage of residual waste heat.
  • Low temperature and pressure allow for a virtually unparalleled grade of soluble, sulfur-free lignin with very little residual carbohydrates.
  • In total, 26 patents have been issued and 17 more applied for globally.
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lx-integration | video

LX-Process – workflow and application

The film shows the basic steps in breakup of lignocellulosic biomass such as corn stover, cereal straws, bagasse, empty fruit bunches as well as the integration into a bio-methane production or a bio-refinery. The subsidiary of LXP Group GmbH for the biogas market is maxbiogas GmbH.