Low temperature lignocellulose pretreatment: effects and interactions of pretreatment pH are critical for maximizing enzymatic monosaccharide yields from wheat straw

Mads Pedersen, Katja S. Johansen, Anne S. Meyer

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Abstract

Background: The recent development of improved enzymes and pentose-using yeast for cellulosic ethanol processes calls for new attention to the lignocellulose pretreatment step. This study assessed the influence of pretreatment pH, temperature, and time, and their interactions on the enzymatic glucose and xylose yields from mildly pretreated wheat straw in multivariate experimental designs of acid and alkaline pretreatments. Results: The pretreatment pH was the most significant factor affecting both the enzymatic glucose and xylose yields after mild thermal pretreatments at maximum 140 degrees C for 10 min. The maximal enzymatic glucose and xylose yields from the solid, pretreated wheat straw fraction were obtained after pretreatments at the most extreme pH values (pH 1 or pH 13) at the maximum pretreatment temperature of 140 degrees C. Surface response models revealed significantly correlating interactions of the pretreatment pH and temperature on the enzymatic liberation of both glucose and xylose from pretreated, solid wheat straw. The influence of temperature was most pronounced with the acidic pretreatments, but the highest enzymatic monosaccharide yields were obtained after alkaline pretreatments. Alkaline pretreatments also solubilized most of the lignin. Conclusions: Pretreatment pH exerted significant effects and factor interactions on the enzymatic glucose and xylose releases. Quite extreme pH values were necessary with mild thermal pretreatment strategies (T
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Volume4
Issue number11
ISSN1754-6834
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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