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ECN publication
Ethanol-Based Organosolv Fractionation of Wheat Straw for Lignin and Enzymatically Digestible Cellulose
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Biomass & Energy Efficiency 23-10-2012
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-W--12-016 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Bioresource Technology (Elsevier), , 2013, Vol.135, p.58-66.

Wheat straw fractionation by ethanol organosolv was studied as pretreatment for enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis. A parametric study focusing on temperature, reaction time, acid catalyst dose, solvent concentration, and particle size was performed to determine their influence on delignification, xylan hydrolysis, and enzymatic cellulose digestibility. Major process parameters were found to be temperature, ethanol concentration, and acid dose. Optimisation of the process towards enzymatic digestibility resulted in a maximum glucose yield of 86% without the use of a catalyst (lignin yield 84%, organosolv at 210 _C, 50% w/w aqueous EtOH). Using 30 mM H2SO4 as catalyst resulted in similar glucose and lignin yields at a lower temperature (190 _C, 60% w/w aqueous EtOH). Lowering the pretreatment temperature by using an acid catalyst substantially improved the yield of the hemicellulose derivatives xylose and furfural. A systematic approach in pretreatment optimisation is vital for development of efficient lignocellulosic biorefineries.

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