Volume 10: Sustainable Energy Solutions for Changing the World: Part II

Pentanol-water biphasic pretreatment facilitates energy-efficient fractionation of lignocellulose Md Khairul Islam, Shazia Rehman, Rabia Jalil Khan, Chi Shun Yeung and Shao-Yuan Leu*



The pretreatment is the most important step for biomass conversion which alters the structure of lignocellulosic biomass to make the substrate accessible enzymatic saccharification and fractionates biomass into the major components for complete utilization of biomass. The fractionation of major biomass components after traditional organosolv pretreatment is tedious and energy-intensive especially when solvent recovery is crucial. In this study, pentanol/water biphasic pretreatment of acacia wood was carried out to investigate energy benefits of the process, pretreatment efficiency, and lignin potential to produce value-added chemicals. The two completely immiscible phases facilitated the separation of biomass fractions which reduced about 46.5% of the total energy consumption for pretreatment and fractionation process. Besides, the lower distribution co-efficient of acid in the organic phase preserved approximately 26.4% of β-aryl ether (β-O-4) linkage in lignin which further increased the energy benefits of the pretreatment process by increasing lignin valorization potential.

Keywords Energy consumption, Biphasic pretreatment, 1-Pentanol, Hydrolysis, Lignin

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