The Effect Of Wood Pretreatment Conditions On Enzymatic Sugar Yield For Biofuel Production From Radiata Pine, 2016 International Mechanical Pulping (IMPC) Conference
Softwoods are the dominant plantation trees in New Zealand and are an attractive feedstock for biochemical conversion into fuel or chemicals as they have high potential sugar yields. However, softwoods are amongst the most recalcitrant feedstocks for enzymatic processes, typically requiring both more severe pretreatment conditions and higher enzyme doses than hardwoods or agricultural residues.
This study has shown that it is possible to increase the enzymatic conversion of radiata pine wood into sugar by solubilising and removal of a high proportion of the hemicelluloses prior to attrition and conversion into sugar. In this study we achieved 76% conversion of glucan into glucose using an enzyme loading of 5 FPU/g of substrate. The main reasons for the higher sugar yields are likely to be; 1) better access of the enzymes to the cellulose within the more porous and weakened cell walls resulting from the hemicellulose removal, 2) removal of carbohydrate material which cannot be digested by current enzyme cocktails and 3) removal of enzyme inhibitors generated during preheating from the pulp.
These results have been incorporated into a new process option for producing a sugar-rich stream from softwood using standard equipment which is largely proven at commercial scale.
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