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A novel hybrid organosolv: steam explosion method for the efficient fractionation and pretreatment of birch biomass
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Chemical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3687-6173
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Chemical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9868-9031
Division of Industrial Biotechnology, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Chemical Engineering.
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2018 (English)In: Biotechnology for Biofuels, ISSN 1754-6834, E-ISSN 1754-6834, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 160Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main role of pretreatment is to reduce the natural biomass recalcitrance and thus enhance saccharification yield. A further prerequisite for efficient utilization of all biomass components is their efficient fractionation into well-defined process streams. Currently available pretreatment methods only partially fulfill these criteria. Steam explosion, for example, excels as a pretreatment method but has limited potential for fractionation, whereas organosolv is excellent for delignification but offers poor biomass deconstruction.

Results

In this article, a hybrid method combining the cooking and fractionation of conventional organosolv pretreatment with the implementation of an explosive discharge of the cooking mixture at the end of pretreatment was developed. The effects of various pretreatment parameters (ethanol content, duration, and addition of sulfuric acid) were evaluated. Pretreatment of birch at 200 °C with 60% v/v ethanol and 1% w/wbiomass H2SO4 was proven to be the most efficient pretreatment condition yielding pretreated solids with 77.9% w/w cellulose, 8.9% w/w hemicellulose, and 7.0 w/w lignin content. Under these conditions, high delignification of 86.2% was demonstrated. The recovered lignin was of high purity, with cellulose and hemicellulose contents not exceeding 0.31 and 3.25% w/w, respectively, and ash to be < 0.17% w/w in all cases, making it suitable for various applications. The pretreated solids presented high saccharification yields, reaching 68% at low enzyme load (6 FPU/g) and complete saccharification at high enzyme load (22.5 FPU/g). Finally, simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) at 20% w/w solids yielded an ethanol titer of 80 g/L after 192 h, corresponding to 90% of the theoretical maximum.

Conclusions

The novel hybrid method developed in this study allowed for the efficient fractionation of birch biomass and production of pretreated solids with high cellulose and low lignin contents. Moreover, the explosive discharge at the end of pretreatment had a positive effect on enzymatic saccharification, resulting in high hydrolyzability of the pretreated solids and elevated ethanol titers in the following high-gravity SSF. To the best of our knowledge, the ethanol concentration obtained with this method is the highest so far for birch biomass.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2018. Vol. 11, no 1, article id 160
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Research subject
Biochemical Process Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69455DOI: 10.1186/s13068-018-1163-3ISI: 000434952000002PubMedID: 29930706Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85048400180OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-69455DiVA, id: diva2:1217543
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-06-13 (andbra)

Available from: 2018-06-13 Created: 2018-06-13 Last updated: 2018-08-08Bibliographically approved

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Matsakas, LeonidasNitsos, ChristosRova, UlrikaChristakopoulos, Paul

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