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Molecules 2018, 23(7), 1647; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071647

Acid Assisted Organosolv Delignification of Beechwood and Pulp Conversion towards High Concentrated Cellulosic Ethanol via High Gravity Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Fermentation

1
Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute (CPERI), Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), 6th km Harilaou-Thermi Rd, 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
2
Biochemical Process Engineering, Division of Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971-87 Luleå, Sweden
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficient Technology for the Pretreatment of Biomass)
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Abstract

Background: Future biorefineries will focus on converting low value waste streams to chemical products that are derived from petroleum or refined sugars. Feedstock pretreatment in a simple, cost effective, agnostic manner is a major challenge. Methods: In this work, beechwood sawdust was delignified via an organosolv process, assisted by homogeneous inorganic acid catalysis. Mixtures of water and several organic solvents were evaluated for their performance. Specifically, ethanol (EtOH), acetone (AC), and methyl- isobutyl- ketone (MIBK) were tested with or without the use of homogeneous acid catalysis employing sulfuric, phosphoric, and oxalic acids under relatively mild temperature of 175 °C for one hour. Results: Delignification degrees (DD) higher than 90% were achieved, where both AC and EtOH proved to be suitable solvents for this process. Both oxalic and especially phosphoric acid proved to be good alternative catalysts for replacing sulfuric acid. High gravity simultaneous saccharification and fermentation with an enzyme loading of 8.4 mg/gsolids at 20 wt.% initial solids content reached an ethanol yield of 8.0 w/v%. Conclusions: Efficient delignification combining common volatile solvents and mild acid catalysis allowed for the production of ethanol at high concentration in an efficient manner. View Full-Text
Keywords: beechwood; organosolv delignification; ethanol fermentation; enzymatic hydrolysis; high gravity beechwood; organosolv delignification; ethanol fermentation; enzymatic hydrolysis; high gravity
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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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Kalogiannis, K.G.; Matsakas, L.; Aspden, J.; Lappas, A.A.; Rova, U.; Christakopoulos, P. Acid Assisted Organosolv Delignification of Beechwood and Pulp Conversion towards High Concentrated Cellulosic Ethanol via High Gravity Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Fermentation. Molecules 2018, 23, 1647.

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