Effects of dilute acid pretreatment conditions on enzymatic hydrolysis monomer and oligomer sugar yields for aspen, balsam, and switchgrass

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The effects of dilute acid hydrolysis conditions were investigated on total sugar (glucose and xylose) yields after enzymatic hydrolysis with additional analyses on glucose and xylose monomer and oligomer yields from the individual hydrolysis steps for aspen (a hardwood), balsam (a softwood), and switchgrass (a herbaceous energy crop). The results of this study, in the form of measured versus theoretical yields and a severity analysis, show that for aspen and balsam, high dilute acid hydrolysis xylose yields were obtainable at all acid concentrations (0.25-0.75 wt.%) and temperatures (150-175 °C) studied as long as reaction time was optimized. Switchgrass shows a relatively stronger dependence on dilute acid hydrolysis acid concentration due to its higher neutralizing mineral content. Maximum total sugar (xylose and glucose; monomer plus oligomer) yields post-enzymatic hydrolysis for aspen, balsam, and switchgrass, were 88.3%, 21.2%, and 97.6%, respectively. In general, highest yields of total sugars (xylose and glucose; monomer plus oligomer) were achieved at combined severity parameter values (log CS) between 2.20 and 2.40 for the biomass species studied. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Bioresource Technology