Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2007
Publication Date: 4/24/2004
Citation: King, M.R., Oldham, C.J., Disseler, S.J., Rebovich, M.E., Dean, L.L., Cuomo, J.J. 2004. Atmospheric Plasma-Enhanced Soft Hydrolysis of Southern Pine. American Chemical Society Abstracts. Interpretive Summary: Southern pine can be considered as a possible source of fermentable sugars for production of ethanol for fuel. Use of an ionized gas (atmospheric plasma) with acid hydrolysis was studied under several treatments of plasma gas, treatment time and polarity to liberate sugars from the matrix. Time of treatment was found to be to be the most important factor in optimize this method.
Technical Abstract: The production of fermentable sugars from southern pine using atmospheric plasma (AP) was studied. AP processing in the dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) configuration was coupled with acid hydrolysis in an effort to determine how AP can impact a standard conversion technique. The effects of plasma chemistry (5% O2/95% He and 5% air/95% O2), treatment time (10 seconds and 10 minutes), and electrode polarity (top-driven and bottom-driven) on the production of sugars were evaluated using HPLC, FTIR and SEM. It was found that AP-treated samples produced over 50% more total sugar than untreated samples. It was also found that the AP process degrades the lignin component of the substrate, a significant inhibitor to sugar production. Treatment time was the most significant factor in sugar production, although plasma chemistry had an effect on the surface chemistry of the substrate. With such an increase in sugar production for treated samples, this process has the potential to significantly impact the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the biomass conversion process.