Honda R&D Co., Honda's research arm, in conjunction with Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) announced last week they have discovered a ethanol production technology from soft-biomass, which is a renewable source of plant-derived material.
The RITE-Honda process, will "pave the way to bio-ethanol production from cellulose and hemicellulose, with the potential to significantly increase fuel production," according to a statement from Honda.
The new technology produces ethanol fuel from cellulose and hemicellulose both of which are found in soft-biomass and includes inedible leaves and stalks of plants such as rice straw. Prior to this new discovery, it was difficult to convern sof-biomass to ethanol says Honda.
Based on the success of this collaborative research, RITE and Honda, will pursue further advancement to establish a bio-refinery for production of not only ethanol, but various industrial commodities including automotive materials from biomass, according to the press release.