Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2007
Publication Date: March 29, 2007
Citation: Dien, B.S., Cotta, M.A., Jung, H.G., Vogel, K.P. 2007. Developing herbaceous energy crops as feedstocks for bioethanol production [abstract]. American Chemical Society. Paper No. Agro-148. Technical Abstract: Perennial herbaceous crops with high biomass yields are promising substrates for producing bioethnaol. A variety of biomasses including cool and warm season grasses and a legume are being evaluated for this purpose. As a first approach, biomass materials were pretreated with dilute-sulfuric acid and either converted to sugars by solely adding commercial cellulase preparations or to ethanol by co-adding Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Sugar and ethanol yields were influenced by both plant type and harvest maturity. Conversion efficiency was found to decrease and carbohydrate contents to increase with maturity. Also, alfalfa stem was more recalcitrant than other sources of biomass tested to pretreating with dilute acid. A critical issue found for herbaceous biomass was the relatively high amounts of soluble sugars, compared to other sources of biomass. It was determined that treating with dilute acid may be impractical as the pretreatment converts these sugars to furans, which subsequently inhibit the yeast fermentation. Currently, other pretreatment methods are being explored that are more amendable to preserving these sugars.