Two-temperature stage biphasic CO2-H2O pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass at high solid loadings

Most biomass pretreatment processes for monosaccharide production are run at low-solid concentration (<10wt%) and use significant amounts of chemical catalysts. Biphasic CO 2-H 2O mixtures could provide a more sustainable pretreatment medium while using high-solid contents. Using a stirred reactor for high solids (40wt%, biomass water mixture) biphasic CO 2-H 2O pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass allowed us to explore the effects of particle size and mixing on mixed hardwood and switchgrass pretreatment. Subsequently, a two-temperature stage pretreatment was introduced. After optimization, a short high-temperature stage at 210°C (16min for hardwood and 1min for switchgrass) was followed by a long low-temperature stage at 160°C for 60min. Glucan to glucose conversion yields of 83% for hardwood and 80% for switchgrass were obtained. Total molar sugar yields of 65% and 55% were obtained for wood and switchgrass, respectively, which consisted of a 10% points improvement over those obtained during our previous study despite a 10-fold increase in particle size. These yields are similar to those obtained with other major pretreatment technologies for wood and within 10% of major technologies for switchgrass despite the absence of chemical catalysts, the use of large particles. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Published in:
Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 109, 6, 1499-1507

 Record created 2014-09-10, last modified 2018-12-03

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