Location: Bioenergy Research Unit
Title: Generation of low cost sugars from wheat straw: Progress, opportunities, and challenges Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2012
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Citation: Saha, B.C., Cotta, M.A. 2012. Generation of low cost sugars from wheat straw: Progress, opportunities, and challenges [abstract]. American Chemical Society. Paper No. BIOT 19. Technical Abstract: Wheat straw (WS) is a low cost feedstock for production of fuel ethanol. It contains about 35-45% cellulose, 20-30% hemicelluloses, and 8-15% lignin. Generation of sugars from WS involves pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification. Pretreatment is crucial as native WS is very resistant to enzymatic hydrolysis. We have studied in detail hydro-thermal, dilute acid, lime, alkaline peroxide, and microwave pretreatments prior to enzymatic saccharification using a variety of enzyme preparations. Some of these pretreatments produce sugar degradation products such as furfural and hydroxymethyl furfural. In this presentation, our research dealing with these pretreatment options and enzymatic saccharification will be described. We are able to achieve 82 to 100% conversion of WS to fermentable sugars. In addition, our research related to development of improved enzymes for lignocellulosic biomass conversion will be highlighted. The current status, problems, and prospects of developing a low cost process for generating sugars from WS will be discussed.