It is widely recognized that cellulose accessibility is closely connected to sugar yield which determines economic viability of biorefining. However, existing kinetic models are not able to capture the evolution of the microscopic properties of biomass (e.g., cellulose accessibility) during pretreatment. Motivated by the limitation, we developed a multiscale model that is capable of describing the dynamic evolution of cellulose accessible area by integrating a macroscopic kinetic model with a microscopic kinetic Monte Carlo model. Then, a model reduction technique is employed to lower the computational complexity of the multiscale model, and employed to a model-based feedback controller to enhance the cellulose accessibility while minimizing the heat during alkaline pretreatment. The implementation of the control framework improved the glucose yield by 19.9% compared to a conventional constant-temperature pretreatment method.
Keywords cellulose accessibility, accessible surface area, multiscale model, model-based control, alkaline pretreatment