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Energies 2011, 4(10), 1601-1623; doi:10.3390/en4101601

Optimization of the Dilute Acid Hydrolyzator for Cellulose-to-Bioethanol Saccharification

*  and
Environmental Engineering Department, Technical University of Crete, University Campus, Chania, GR 73100, Greece
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2011 / Revised: 23 September 2011 / Accepted: 8 October 2011 / Published: 20 October 2011
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The production of fermentable sugar solutions for bioethanol production is optimized. The process of acid hydrolysis using dilute H2SO4 was selected. Suitable lignocellulosics which are abundant in the Mediterranean (corn stover, hardwood and wheat straw) were investigated, and therefore their exploitation could be economically feasible. The process was studied in the two most common hydrolyzators (batch and continuous stirred) by developing a specific simulator for different raw materials. The simulation was applied in a wide range of temperatures (100–240 °C) and acid concentrations (0.5–3.0% w/w), in order to optimize the productivity of fermentable pentosans and hexosans. It was confirmed that the production of sugar-rich solutions required a two-stage process; in the first stage the degradation of sugars takes place, since pentoses are formulated under milder conditions than hexoses; in the second stage of simulation, a variety of samples with high sugar concentration and low degradation products are tested. The xylose productivity ranges between 85–95% under the most optimal conditions compared to the theoretical values, while large variations in glucose were frequent (10–55%) in comparison with the theoretical values. The best theoretical results were achieved for wheat straw hydrolysis in a batch reactor.
Keywords: bio-ethanol; acid hydrolysis; straw; cellulose; reactor design bio-ethanol; acid hydrolysis; straw; cellulose; reactor design
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Tsoutsos, T.; Bethanis, D. Optimization of the Dilute Acid Hydrolyzator for Cellulose-to-Bioethanol Saccharification. Energies 2011, 4, 1601-1623.

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