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Effects of SPORL and Dilute Acid Pretreatment on Substrate Morphology, Cell Physical and Chemical Wall Structures, and Subsequent Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Lodgepole Pine

Li, Xinping, Luo, Xiaolin, Li, Kecheng, Zhu, J. Y., Fougere, J. Dennis, Clarke, Kimberley
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 2012 v.168 no.6 pp. 1556-1567
Pinus contorta var. latifolia, acids, cell walls, cellulose, chemical structure, enzymatic hydrolysis, hemicellulose, hydrolysis, image analysis, lignin, lignocellulose, pH
The effects of pretreatment by dilute acid and sulfite pretreatment to overcome recalcitrance of lignocellulose (SPORL) on substrate morphology, cell wall physical and chemical structures, along with the subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis of lodgepole pine substrate were investigated. FE-SEM and TEM images of substrate structural morphological changes showed that SPORL pretreatment resulted in fiber separation, where SPORL high pH (4.2) pretreatment exhibited better fiber separation than SPORL low pH (1.9) pretreatment. Dilute acid pretreatment produced very poor fiber separation, consisting mostly of fiber bundles. The removal of almost all hemicelluloses in the dilute acid pretreated substrate did not overcome recalcitrance to achieve a high cellulose conversion when lignin removal was limited. SPORL high pH pretreatment removed more lignin but less hemicellulose, while SPORL low pH pretreatment removed about the same amount of lignin and hemicelluloses in lodgepole pine substrates when compared with dilute acid pretreatment. Substrates pretreated with either SPORL process had a much higher cellulose conversion than those produced with dilute acid pretreatment. Lignin removal in addition to removal of hemicellulose in SPORL pretreatment plays an important role in improving the cellulose hydrolysis of the substrate.