.Biomass pretreatment aims at separating and providing easier access to the main biomass components (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin), eventually removing lignin, preserving the hemicellulose, reducing the cellulose crystallinity and increasing the porosity of the material. Pretreatment is an essential step towards the development and industrialization of efficient 2nd generation lignocellulosic ethanol processes. The present work reviewed the main options available in pretreatment. Autohydrolysis and steam explosion were then selected for further investigation. Experimental work was carried out on batch scale reactors, using Miscanthus as biomass feedstock: the effects on sugar solubilization and degradation products generation have been examined for each of these two pretreatment systems. A new process using only water and steam as reacting media was then developed, experimentally tested, and results compared to those achieved by the autohydrolysis and steam explosion processes. Products obtained with the new pretreatment contained a lower amount of usual fermentation inhibitor compounds compared to that typically obtained in steam explosion. This result was achieved under operating conditions that at the same time allowed a good xylan yield, preventing degradation of hemicelluloses. The new pretreatment process was also able to act as an equalization step, as the solid material from the pretreatment phase had a similar composition even under different operating conditions. As regards the effect of pretreatment on enzymatic hydrolysis, the new process achieved yields similar to steam explosion on glucans: however, this was obtained reducing the formation of degradation products from sugars, mainly from C5 sugars. These results made the proposed pretreatment system suitable for further development and industrialization on pilot and industrial scale.
|Titolo:||Review of pretreatment processes for lignocellulosic ethanol production, and development of an innovative method|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.04.020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|