Enzymatic hydrolysis and ethanol fermentation of high dry matter wet-exploded wheat straw at low enzyme loading

T.I. Georgieva, Xiaoru Hou, Troels Hilstrøm, Birgitte Kiær Ahring

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    Wheat straw was pretreated by wet explosion using three different oxidizing agents (H2O2, O-2, and air). The effect of the pretreatment was evaluated based on glucose and xylose liberated during enzymatic hydrolysis. The results showed that pretreatment with the use of O-2 as oxidizing agent was the most efficient in enhancing overall convertibility of the raw material to sugars and minimizing generation of furfural as a by-product. For scale-up of the process, high dry matter (DM) concentrations of 15-20% will be necessary. However, high DM hydrolysis and fermentation are limited by high viscosity of the material, higher inhibition of the enzymes, and fermenting microorganism. The wet-explosion pretreatment method enabled relatively high yields from both enzymatic hydrolysis and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) to be obtained when performed on unwashed slurry with 14% DM and a low enzyme loading of 10 FPU/g cellulose in an industrial acceptable time frame of 96 h. Cellulose and hemicellulose conversion from enzymatic hydrolysis were 70 and 68%, respectively, and an overall ethanol yield from SSF was 68%.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
    Issue number1-3
    Pages (from-to)35-44
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • ethanol
    • high dry matter
    • pretreatment
    • wet explosion
    • saccharomyces cerevisiae
    • wheat straw
    • simultaneous saccharification and fermentation


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