S2G BioChem has developed a process that uses nonprecious metal catalysts to convert forest residue-derived sugars to mixed glycols and alcohol, either sorbitol or xylitol. S2G was founded in 2009 to primarily focus on glycol production, and when Lux interviewed the company in 2012, it still had not decided on which alcohol product to pursue. Over the next couple of years, research began to show a link between xylitol and dental health, complementing its status as a sweetener with 33% fewer calories than sugar and making it an especially attractive ingredient for sugar-free gums. Although consumer demand began to rise, xylitol production remained expensive and energy-intensive, limiting the xylitol's market growth.
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