Lignocellulosic materials have been considered as an alternative source from which liquid biofuel and fine chemicals can be produced with a moderate environmental impact. However, they can be contaminated with metals, soil, and ash, owing incrustation and corrosion of industrial reactors and pipelines.
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Lignocellulosic materials have been considered as an alternative source from which liquid biofuel and fine chemicals can be produced with a moderate environmental impact. However, they can be contaminated with metals, soil, and ash, owing incrustation and corrosion of industrial reactors and pipelines. In this work, the use of ultrasound energy was applied for the removal of metals and nonmetals (Ba, Ca, Mg, Mn, P, S, Si, and Sr) from sugarcane straw. Ultrasound-assisted demineralization (UAD) experiments were carried out in ultrasonic baths in several frequencies (from 25 up to 130 kHz). The following experimental conditions were evaluated: demineralization solution (HNO3
, HCl, H2
, and H2
concentration (from 5 to 30% v v−1
), extraction temperature (from 30 to 70 °C), sonication time (from 5 to 45 min), and ultrasound amplitude (from 10 to 70%). Better demineralization efficiencies (66%) were obtained employing an ultrasound bath operating at 25 kHz for 30 min, ultrasound amplitude of 60%, and using a diluted H2
solution (15% v v−1
) at 70 °C. When the obtained results were compared with those obtained by mechanical stirring (MS, 500 rpm), it was observed that the use of ultrasound energy increased the demineralization efficiency up to 16%. Furthermore, acid hydrolysis was performed to evaluate the influence of US and mechanical stirring in fermentable sugars’ production. The total sugars’ yield (glucose, xylose, and arabinose) increased around 55% for both systems (US and MS). To prove the applicability of the proposed process, some experiments for scaling up were performed using several reaction loads (0.5 to 3 L). An attempt for scaling the proposed process up was well succeeded up to a 3 L load. Therefore, the proposed ultrasound-assisted procedure can be considered as a suitable alternative for high-efficiency demineralization from sugarcane straw.