Ultra-structural mapping of sugarcane bagasse by oxalic acid fiber expansion (OAFEX) and ethanol production by

Biotechnology for Biofuels (Impact Factor: 6.04). 01/2013; 6(1):4. DOI: 10.1186/1754-6834-6-4
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Diminishing supplies of fossil fuels and oil spills are rousing to explore the alternative sources of energy that can be produced from non-food/feed-based substrates. Due to its abundance, sugarcane bagasse (SB) could be a model substrate for the second-generation biofuel cellulosic ethanol. However, the efficient bioconversion of SB remains a challenge for the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol. We hypothesized that oxalic-acid-mediated thermochemical pretreatment (OAFEX) would overcome the native recalcitrance of SB by enhancing the cellulase amenability toward the embedded cellulosic microfibrils.
OAFEX treatment revealed the solubilization of hemicellulose releasing sugars (12.56 g/l xylose and 1.85 g/l glucose), leaving cellulignin in an accessible form for enzymatic hydrolysis. The highest hydrolytic efficiency (66.51%) of cellulignin was achieved by enzymatic hydrolysis (Celluclast 1.5 L and Novozym 188). The ultrastructure characterization of SB using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform–near infrared spectroscopy (FT-NIR), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) revealed structural differences before and after OAFEX treatment with enzymatic hydrolysis. Furthermore, fermentation mediated by C. shehatae UFMG HM52.2 and S. cerevisiae 174 showed fuel ethanol production from detoxified acid (3.2 g/l, yield 0.353 g/g; 0.52 g/l, yield, 0.246 g/g) and enzymatic hydrolysates (4.83 g/l, yield, 0.28 g/g; 6.6 g/l, yield 0.46 g/g).
OAFEX treatment revealed marked hemicellulose degradation, improving the cellulases’ ability to access the cellulignin and release fermentable sugars from the pretreated substrate. The ultrastructure of SB after OAFEX and enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulignin established thorough insights at the molecular level.

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Available from: Maria José Valenzuela Bell, Apr 17, 2014
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    • "S. shehatae UFMG HM 52.2 is a native xylose fermenting yeast which was isolated from a rotting wood sample in an Atlantic rainforest site of Brazil. Earlier, this strain was employed for the fermentation of oxalic acid pretreated hemicellulosic hydrolysate, which showed ethanol production (3.20 g/l) with a yield of 0.35 g/g and productivity of 0.13 g/l/h after 24 hours, followed by a declination [10]. Biomass (0.38 g/g) was found to be continuously increasing until the completion of the fermentation cycle with the productivity of 0.049 g/l/h. "
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    ABSTRACT: Heavy usage of gasoline, burgeoning fuel prices, and environmental issues have paved the way for the exploration of cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol production technologies are emerging and require continued technological advancements. One of the most challenging issues is the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for the desired sugars yields after enzymatic hydrolysis. We hypothesized that consecutive dilute sulfuric acid-dilute sodium hydroxide pretreatment would overcome the native recalcitrance of sugarcane bagasse (SB) by enhancing cellulase accessibility of the embedded cellulosic microfibrils. SB hemicellulosic hydrolysate after concentration by vacuum evaporation and detoxification showed 30.89 g/l xylose along with other products (0.32 g/l glucose, 2.31 g/l arabinose, and 1.26 g/l acetic acid). The recovered cellulignin was subsequently delignified by sodium hydroxide mediated pretreatment. The acid-base pretreated material released 48.50 g/l total reducing sugars (0.91 g sugars/g cellulose amount in SB) after enzymatic hydrolysis. Ultra-structural mapping of acid-base pretreated and enzyme hydrolyzed SB by microscopic analysis (scanning electron microcopy (SEM), transmitted light microscopy (TLM), and spectroscopic analysis (X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy) elucidated the molecular changes in hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin components of bagasse. The detoxified hemicellulosic hydrolysate was fermented by Scheffersomyces shehatae (syn. Candida shehatae UFMG HM 52.2) and resulted in 9.11 g/l ethanol production (yield 0.38 g/g) after 48 hours of fermentation. Enzymatic hydrolysate when fermented by Saccharomyces cerevisiae 174 revealed 8.13 g/l ethanol (yield 0.22 g/g) after 72 hours of fermentation. Multi-scale structural studies of SB after sequential acid-base pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis showed marked changes in hemicellulose and lignin removal at molecular level. The cellulosic material showed high saccharification efficiency after enzymatic hydrolysis. Hemicellulosic and cellulosic hydrolysates revealed moderate ethanol production by S. shehatae and S. cerevisiae under batch fermentation conditions.
    Biotechnology for Biofuels 04/2014; 7(1):63. DOI:10.1186/1754-6834-7-63 · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    • "A microscopy and spectroscopic study on chemical change, at molecular level, of sugarcane bagasse after oxalic acid fiber expansion (OAFEX) pretreatment showed that OAFEX markedly disrupted hemicellulose and simultaneously re-localized lignin moieties, aiding the increased exposure of cellulose to cellulases. After enzymatic hydrolysis a complete disruption of cellulose aggregates into glucose was observed, suggesting that re-localization of lignin moieties did not affect enzymatic action toward the saccharification of cellulose [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study the effect of temperature, reaction time and dilute oxalic acid (OA) concentration during steam-pretreatment of Miscanthus × gigantueus has been evaluated using the combined severity factor (CS). At the highest CS glucan and lignin content in the water insoluble fraction (WIF) increased, while xylan content decreased. While glucose recovery in the water soluble fraction (WSF) was found at low concentration when mild CS were used (≤5.0 g L−1 at CS ≤ 2.17), xylose and arabinose concentrations were higher at low-mild CS (1.58–2.17) with a concentration peak at CS 2.03 (39.9 and 3.2 g L−1 for xylose and arabinose, respectively). The decrease in pentoses coincided with inhibitory formation in the WSF, namely acetic acid, furfural, HMF and phenolic compounds. Glucan conversion rose from 46.1% at CS 1.54 to 91.2% at CS 2.76. Likewise, maximum ethanol concentration was achieved at CS 2.76, corresponding to 20.2 g L−1 and a volumetric ethanol productivity of 0.28 g L−1 h−1. Negative correlations have been found between xylan vs. glucan conversion and xylan vs. ethanol production, suggesting that decreasing the xylan content in WIF increases both saccharification rate and ethanol concentration (R2 0.91 and R2 0.93, respectively). On the other hand, a positive correlation was found between ethanol production and glucan conversion (R2 0.93). Fermentation of WSF by Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis CBS 6054 at CS 1.54 produced 12.1 g L−1 of ethanol after 96 h incubation with a volumetric ethanol productivity of 0.13 g L−1 h−1.
    Biomass and Bioenergy 12/2013; 59. DOI:10.1016/j.biombioe.2013.09.011 · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fuel ethanol production from sustainable and largely abundant agro-residues such as sugarcane bagasse (SB) provides long term, geopolitical and strategic benefits. Pretreatment of SB is an inevitable process for improved saccharification of cell wall carbohydrates. Recently, ammonium hydroxide-based pretreatment technologies have gained significance as an effective and economical pretreatment strategy. We hypothesized that soaking in concentrated aqueous ammonia-mediated thermochemical pretreatment (SCAA) would overcome the native recalcitrance of SB by enhancing cellulase accessibility of the embedded holocellulosic microfibrils. In this study, we designed an experiment considering response surface methodology (Taguchi method, L8 orthogonal array) to optimize sugar recovery from ammonia pretreated sugarcane bagasse (SB) by using the method of soaking in concentrated aqueous ammonia (SCAA-SB). Three independent variables: ammonia concentration, temperature and time, were selected at two levels with center point. The ammonia pretreated bagasse (SCAA-SB) was enzymatically hydrolysed by commercial enzymes (Celluclast 1.5 L and Novozym 188) using 15 FPU/g dry biomass and 17.5 Units of beta-glucosidase/g dry biomass at 500C, 150 rpm for 96 h. A maximum of 28.43 g/l reducing sugars corresponding to 0.57 g sugars/g pretreated bagasse was obtained from the SCAA-SB derived using a 20% v/v ammonia solution, at 700C for 24 h after enzymatic hydrolysis. Among the tested parameters, pretreatment time showed the maximum influence (p value, 0.053282) while ammonia concentration showed the least influence (p value, 0.612552) on sugar recovery. The changes in the ultra-structure and crystallinity of native SCAA-SB and enzymatically hydrolysed SB were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD) and solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The enzymatic hydrolysates and solid SCAA-SB were subjected to ethanol fermentation under separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF) and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) by Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis NRRL Y-7124 respectively. Higher ethanol production (10.31 g/l and yield, 0.387 g/g) was obtained through SSF than SHF (3.83 g/l and yield, 0.289 g/g). SCAA treatment showed marked lignin removal from SB thus improving the accessibility of cellulases towards holocellulose substrate as evidenced by efficient sugar release. The ultrastructure of SB after SCAA and enzymatic hydrolysis of holocellulose provided insights of the degradation process at the molecular level.
    Biotechnology for Biofuels 07/2013; 6(1):102. DOI:10.1186/1754-6834-6-102 · 6.04 Impact Factor
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