[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An organosolv process involving extraction with hot aqueous ethanol has been evaluated for bioconversion of hybrid poplar to ethanol. The process resulted in fractionation of poplar chips into a cellulose-rich solids fraction, an ethanol organosolv lignin (EOL) fraction, and a water-soluble fraction containing hemicellulosic sugars, sugar breakdown products, degraded lignin, and other components. The influence of four independent process variables (temperature, time, catalyst dose, and ethanol concentration) on product yields was analyzed over a broad range using a small composite design and response surface methodology. Center point conditions for the composite design (180 degrees C, 60 min, 1.25% H(2)SO(4), and 60% ethanol), yielded a solids fraction containing approximately 88% of the cellulose present in the untreated poplar. Approximately 82% of the total cellulose in the untreated poplar was recovered as monomeric glucose after hydrolysis of the solids fraction for 24 h using a low enzyme loading (20 filter paper units of cellulase/g cellulose); approximately 85% was recovered after 48 h hydrolysis. Total recovery of xylose (soluble and insoluble) was equivalent to approximately 72% of the xylose present in untreated wood. Approximately 74% of the lignin in untreated wood was recovered as EOL. Other cooking conditions resulted in either similar or inferior product yields although the distribution of components between the various fractions differed markedly. Data analysis generated regression models that describe process responses for any combination of the four variables.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 09/2006; 94(5):851-61. · 3.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulps with residual lignin ranging from 6.4-27.4% (w/w) were prepared from mixed softwoods using a proprietary biorefining technology (the Lignol process) based on aqueous ethanol organosolv extraction. The pulps were evaluated for bioconversion using enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulose fraction to glucose and subsequent fermentation to ethanol. All pulps were readily hydrolyzed without further delignification. More than 90% of the cellulose in low lignin pulps (< or =18.4% residual lignin) was hydrolyzed to glucose in 48 h using an enzyme loading of 20 filter paper units/g cellulose. Cellulose in a high lignin pulp (27.4% residual lignin) was hydrolyzed to >90% conversion within 48 h using 40 filter paper units/g. The pulps performed well in both sequential and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation trials indicating an absence of metabolic inhibitors. Chemical and physical analyses showed that lignin extracted during organosolv pulping of softwood is a suitable feedstock for production of lignin-based adhesives and other products due to its high purity, low molecular weight, and abundance of reactive groups. Additional co-products may be derived from the hemicellulose sugars and furfural recovered from the water-soluble stream.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 06/2005; 90(4):473-81. · 3.65 Impact Factor