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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #245790

Title: An improved method for analysis of biomass sugars and galacturonic acid by anion exchange chromatography


Submitted to: Biotechnology Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2010
Publication Date: 10/27/2010
Citation: Widmer, W.W. 2011. Analysis of biomass sugars and galacturonic acid by gradient anion exchange chromatography and pulsed amperonmetric detection without post-column addition. Biotechnology Letters. 33:365-368.

Interpretive Summary: Analysis of sugars in biomass by gas chromatography involves laborious and lengthy sample preparations and analysis by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) either provides poor separations or have long analyis times. A new method was developed with simple sample preparation, gives good separation of the sugars contained in biomass to be used for biofuel production, and has a much shorter analysis over the previous method.

Technical Abstract: While the most accurate method for analysis of sugars in biomass is based on gas chromatography of trimethylsilane or alditol acetate derivitives of sugars, the derivation method is time consuming and laborious. In comparison, sample preparation for sugar analysis using liquid chromatography is a simple water extraction procedure, however analysis of hydrolyzed biomass materials are either poorly resolved for some sugars or analysis times are long. High performance ion moderated partition (HPIMP) chromatography using a lead or calcium column does not give good resolution for some sugars present in enzyme or chemical hydrolysates of biomass. In addition, galacturonic acid (an indicator of pectin hydrolysis) is retained and not eluted by these columns. Since pectin is a major polysaccharide component in citrus waste, galacturonic acid analysis is of interest in our research and requires a separate analytical technique if a lead based HPMIP column is used for sugar analysis. High performance anion-exchange chromatography using a Dionex PA-1 column with pulsed-amperometric detection (PAD) provides a much better separation of mono and disaccharide sugars. A gradient method developed previously using post column addition was modified to reduce analysis time from 70 to 40 min and provide good resolution of arabinose, rhamnose, galactose, xylose, glucose, fructose, sucrose, cellobiose, galacturonic acid, and glucuronic acid in hydrolyzed citrus waste materials.