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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bioenergy Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327791

Research Project: Technologies for Improving Process Efficiencies in Biomass Refineries

Location: Bioenergy Research

Title: Promise of combined hydrothermal/chemical and mechanical refining for pretreatment of woody and herbaceous biomass

Author
item Kim, Sun Min - University Of Illinois
item Dien, Bruce
item Singh, Vijay - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/12/2016
Publication Date: 4/30/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5486670
Citation: Kim, S.M., Dien, B.S., Singh, V. 2016. Promise of combined hydrothermal/chemical and mechanical refining for pretreatment of woody and herbaceous biomass. Biotechnology for Biofuels. 9(97):1-15. doi: 10.1186/s13086-016-0505-2.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Production of advanced biofuels from woody and herbaceous feedstocks is moving into commercialization. Biomass needs to be pretreated to overcome the physicochemical properties of biomass that hinder enzyme accessibility, impeding the conversion of the plant cell walls to fermentable sugars. Pretreatment also remains one of the most costly unit operations in the process and among the most critical because it is the source of chemicals that inhibit enzymes and microorganisms and largely determines enzyme loading and sugar yields. Pretreatments are categorized into hydrothermal (aqueous)/chemical, physical and biological pretreatments, the mechanistic details of which are briefly outlined in this review. To leverage the synergistic effects of different pretreatment methods, conducting two or more pretreatments consecutively has gained attention. Especially, combining hydrothermal/chemical pretreatment and mechanical refining, a type of physical pretreatment, has the potential to be applied to an industrial plant. Here, the effects of the combined pretreatment (combined hydrothermal/chemical pretreatment and mechanical refining) on energy consumption, physical structure, sugar yields, and enzyme dosage are summarized.