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Open AccessArticle

High-Titer Methane from Organosolv-Pretreated Spruce and Birch

Biochemical Process Engineering, Division of Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Witold Kwapinski
Energies 2017, 10(3), 263;
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermo-Chemical Conversion of Waste Biomass)
The negative impact of fossil fuels and the increased demand for renewable energy sources has led to the use of novel raw material sources. Lignocellulosic biomass could serve as a possible raw material for anaerobic digestion and production of biogas. This work is aimed at using forest biomass, both softwood (spruce) and hardwood (birch), as a raw material for anaerobic digestion. We examined the effect of different operational conditions for the organosolv pretreatment (ethanol content, duration of treatment, and addition of acid catalyst) on the methane yield. In addition, we investigated the effect of addition of cellulolytic enzymes during the digestion. We found that inclusion of an acid catalyst during organosolv pretreatment improved the yields from spruce, but it did not affect the yields from birch. Shorter duration of treatment was advantageous with both materials. Methane yields from spruce were higher with lower ethanol content whereas higher ethanol content was more beneficial for birch. The highest yields obtained were 185 mL CH4/g VS from spruce and 259.9 mL CH4/g VS from birch. Addition of cellulolytic enzymes improved these yields to 266.6 mL CH4/g VS and 284.2 mL CH4/g VS, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: biogas; methane; lignocellulosic biomass; organosolv pretreatment; anaerobic digestion; birch; spruce biogas; methane; lignocellulosic biomass; organosolv pretreatment; anaerobic digestion; birch; spruce
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Matsakas, L.; Nitsos, C.; Vörös, D.; Rova, U.; Christakopoulos, P. High-Titer Methane from Organosolv-Pretreated Spruce and Birch. Energies 2017, 10, 263.

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