The enzymatic hydrolysis process is one of the key steps in second generation biofuel production. After being thermally pretreated, the lignocellulosic material is liquefied by enzymes prior to fermentation. The scope of this paper is to evaluate a dynamic model of the hydrolysis process on a demonstration scale reactor. The following novel features are included: the application of the Convection–Diffusion–Reaction equation to a hydrolysis reactor to assess transport and mixing effects; the extension of a competitive kinetic model with enzymatic pH dependency and hemicellulose hydrolysis; a comprehensive pH model; and viscosity estimations during the course of reaction. The model is evaluated against real data extracted from a demonstration scale biorefinery throughout several days of operation. All measurements are within predictions uncertainty and, therefore, the model constitutes a valuable tool to support process optimization, performance monitoring, diagnosis and process control at full-scale studies.
- Enzymatic hydrolysis
- Demonstration scale
- Dynamic modeling
- Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis