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Pretreatment of Sweet Sorghum Bagasse for Ethanol Production Using Na2CO3 Obtained by NaOH Absorption of CO2 Generated in Sweet Sorghum Juice Ethanol Fermentation

Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, USA
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Fermentation 2019, 5(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation5040091
Received: 9 September 2019 / Revised: 18 October 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published: 24 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion: Fermentation Chemicals and Fuels)
(1) Background: Commercial production of fuel ethanol currently uses sugarcane and corn as feedstocks. Attempts to develop other renewable feedstocks that are more abundant have led to lignocellulosic biomass, which requires pretreatment prior to enzymatic hydrolysis to generate fermentable sugars. One of the largest cost components of pretreatment is chemical cost. Ethanol fermentation also produces large quantities of CO2 as a co-product contributing to global warming. (2) Methods: Sweet sorghum has emerged as a potential new feedstock for ethanol production. In the present study, the CO2 produced in sweet sorghum juice (SSJ) fermentation was captured by absorption in 5 M NaOH. The resultant Na2CO3 solution was used for pretreatment of sweet sorghum bagasse (SSB), which is the solid residue in SSJ extraction. The pretreated SSB was fermented in SSJ to produce additional ethanol. (3) Results: CO2 absorption efficiency of 92.0% was observed. Pretreatment of SSB by the obtained Na2CO3 solution resulted in no loss of glucan and only 8.1 wt% loss of xylan. Ethanol yield from glucan in the pretreated SSB was 81.7% theoretical. (4) Conclusions: CO2 from SSJ fermentation captured as Na2CO3 could be used for efficient SSB pretreatment. Further study focusing on pretreatment process optimization is needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethanol; fermentation; lignocellulosic biomass; pretreatment; enzymatic hydrolysis; sweet sorghum; CO2 capture; global warming ethanol; fermentation; lignocellulosic biomass; pretreatment; enzymatic hydrolysis; sweet sorghum; CO2 capture; global warming
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Nghiem, N.P.; Toht, M.J. Pretreatment of Sweet Sorghum Bagasse for Ethanol Production Using Na2CO3 Obtained by NaOH Absorption of CO2 Generated in Sweet Sorghum Juice Ethanol Fermentation. Fermentation 2019, 5, 91.

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