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
). 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.
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