Miscanthus is a high yielding bioenergy crop. In this study we used acid presoaking, wet explosion, and enzymatic hydrolysis to evaluate the combination of the different pre-treatment methods for bioethanol production with Miscanthus. Acid presoaking is primarily carried out in order to remove xylose prior to wet explosion. The acid presoaking extracted 63.2% xylose and 5.2% glucose. Direct enzymatic hydrolysis of the presoaked biomass was found to give only low sugar yields of 24-26% glucose. Wet explosion is a pre-treatment method that combines wet-oxidation and steam explosion. The effect of wet explosion on non-presoaked and presoaked Miscanthus was investigated using both atmospheric air and hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizing agent. All wet explosion pre-treatments showed to have a disrupting effect on the lignocellulosic biomass, making the sugars accessible for enzymatic hydrolysis. The combination of presoaking, wet explosion, and enzymatic hydrolysis was found to give the highest sugar yields. The use of atmospheric air gave the highest xylose yield (94.9% xylose, 61.3% glucose), while hydrogen peroxide gave the highest glucose yield (82.4% xylose, 63.7% glucose).
- wet explosion