Wet oxidation pretreatment of rape straw for ethanol production

Efthalia Arvaniti, Anne Belinda Bjerre, Jens Ejbye Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Rape straw can be used for production of second generation bioethanol. In this paper we optimized the pretreatment of rape straw for this purpose using Wet oxidation (WO). The effect of reaction temperature, reaction time, and oxygen gas pressure was investigated for maximum ethanol yield via Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF). To reduce the water use and increase the energy efficiency in WO pretreatment features like recycling liquid (filtrate), presoaking of rape straw in water or recycled filtrate before WO, skip washing pretreated solids (filter cake) after WO, or use of whole slurry (Filter cake + filtrate) in SSF were also tested. Except ethanol yields, pretreatment methods were evaluated based on achieved glucose yields, amount of water used, recovery of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin.The highest ethanol yield obtained was 67% after fermenting the whole slurry produced by WO at 205 °C for 3 min with 12 bar of oxygen gas pressure and featured with presoaking in water. At these conditions after pre-treatment, cellulose and hemicellulose was recovered quantitatively (100%) together with 86% of the lignin. WO treatments of 2–3 min at 205–210 °C with 12 bar of oxygen gas produced higher ethanol yields and cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin recoveries, than 15 min WO treatment at 195 °C. Also, recycling filtrate and use of higher oxygen gas pressure reduced recovery of materials. The use of filtrate could be inhibitory for the yeast, but also reduced lactic acid formation in SSF.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomass & Bioenergy
Pages (from-to)94-105
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Wet oxidation
  • Ethanol
  • Rape straw
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis


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