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Energies 2018, 11(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11010039

Toward Complete Utilization of Miscanthus in a Hot-Water Extraction-Based Biorefinery

Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
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Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
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Abstract

Miscanthus (Miscanthus sp. Family: Poaceae) was hot-water extracted (two h, at 160 °C) at three scales: laboratory (Parr reactor, 300 cm3), intermediate (M/K digester, 4000 cm3), and pilot (65 ft3-digester, 1.841 × 106 cm3). Hot-water extracted miscanthus, hydrolyzate, and lignin recovered from hydrolyzate were characterized and evaluated for potential uses aiming at complete utilization of miscanthus. Effects of scale-up on digester yield, removal of hemicelluloses, deashing, delignification degree, lignin recovery and purity, and cellulose retention were studied. The scale-dependent results demonstrated that before implementation, hot-water extraction (HWE) should be evaluated on a scale larger than a laboratory scale. The production of energy-enriched fuel pellets from hot-water extracted miscanthus, especially in combination with recovered lignin is recommended, as energy of combustion increased gradually from native to hot-water extracted miscanthus to recovered lignin. The native and pilot-scale hot-water extracted miscanthus samples were also subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis using a cellulase-hemicellulase cocktail, to produce fermentable sugars. Hot-water extracted biomass released higher amount of glucose and xylose verifying benefits of HWE as an effective pretreatment for xylan-rich lignocellulosics. The recovered lignin was used to prepare a formaldehyde-free alternative to phenol-formaldehyde resins and as an antioxidant. Promising results were obtained for these lignin valorization pathways. View Full-Text
Keywords: miscanthus; hot-water extraction; scale-up; lignin as an antioxidant; lignin-based formaldehyde-free resins; enzymatic hydrolysis miscanthus; hot-water extraction; scale-up; lignin as an antioxidant; lignin-based formaldehyde-free resins; enzymatic hydrolysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Wang, K.-T.; Jing, C.; Wood, C.; Nagardeolekar, A.; Kohan, N.; Dongre, P.; Amidon, T.E.; Bujanovic, B.M. Toward Complete Utilization of Miscanthus in a Hot-Water Extraction-Based Biorefinery. Energies 2018, 11, 39.

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