Comparing oxidative and dilute acid wet explosion pretreatment of Cocksfoot grass

    • at high dry matter concentration for cellulosic ethanol production Journal of the Society for Chemical Industry 1(2), 89-98
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    Autor(en) - alphabetisch sortiert:

    Ahring, B. K. ; Njoku, S. I.; Uellendahl, Hinrich

    The choice of a suitable pretreatment method and the adjustment of the pre-treatment parameters for efficient conversion of biomass are crucial for a suc-cessful biorefinery concept. In this study, cocksfoot grass, a suitable lignocellulosic biomass with a potential for large-scale production was investi-gated for cellulosic ethanol production. The biomass raw materials were pre-treated using wet explosion (WEx) at 25% dry matter concentration with addition of oxygen or dilute sulfuric acid. The enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose was significantly improved after pretreatment. The highest conversion into cel-lulose monomeric C6 sugars was achieved for WEx condition AC-E (180°C, 15 min, and 0.2% sulfuric acid). For that condition, the highest ethanol yield of 197 g/kg DM (97% of theoretical maximum value) was achieved for SSF process by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, the highest concentration of hemicellulose C5 sugars was found for WEx pretreatment condition O2-A (160°C, 15 min, and 6 bar O 2) which means that the highest potential ethanol yield was found at this moderate pretreatment condition with oxygen added. Increasing the pretreatment temperature to 180–190°C with addition of oxygen or dilute sulfuric acid significantly degrades the solubilized hemicellulose sugars and thus, achieved the highest formation of by-products.