Comparative material balances around pretreatment technologies for the conversion of switchgrass to soluble sugars
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For this project, six chemical pretreatments were compared for the Consortium for Applied Fundamentals and Innovation (CAFI): ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX), dilute sulfuric acid (DA), lime, liquid hot water (LHW), soaking in aqueous ammonia (SAA), and sulfur dioxide (SO(2)). For each pretreatment, a material balance was analyzed around the pretreatment, optional post-washing step, and enzymatic hydrolysis of Dacotah switchgrass. All pretreatments+enzymatic hydrolysis solubilized over two-thirds of the available glucan and xylan. Lime, post-washed LHW, and SO(2) achieved >83% total glucose yields. Lime, post-washed AFEX, and DA achieved >83% total xylose yields. Alkaline pretreatments, except AFEX, solubilized the most lignin and a portion of the xylan as xylo-oligomers. As pretreatment pH decreased, total solubilized xylan and released monomeric xylose increased. Low temperature-long time or high temperature-short time pretreatments are necessary for high glucose release from late-harvest Dacotah switchgrass but high temperatures may cause xylose degradation.
author list (cited authors)
Garlock, R. J., Balan, V., Dale, B. E., Pallapolu, V. R., Lee, Y. Y., Kim, Y., ... Warner, R. E.