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Facile, room-temperature pre-treatment of rice husks with tetrabutylphosphonium hydroxide: Enhanced enzymatic and acid hydrolysis yields

Lau, B.B.Y., Luis, E.T., Hossain, M.M., Hart, W.E.S., Cencia-Lay, B., Black, J.J., To, T.Q., Aldous, L.
Bioresource technology 2015 v.197 pp. 252-259
acid hydrolysis, ambient temperature, aqueous solutions, biomass, cellulose, delignification, endo-1,4-beta-glucanase, enzymatic hydrolysis, glucose, lignin, rice hulls, silica, solubility, sulfuric acid
Aqueous solutions of tetrabutylphosphonium hydroxide have been evaluated as pretreatment media for rice husks, prior to sulphuric acid hydrolysis or cellulase enzymatic hydrolysis. Varying the water:tetrabutylphosphonium hydroxide ratio varied the rate of delignification, as well as silica, lignin and cellulose solubility. Pre-treatment with 60wt% hydroxide dissolved the rice husk and the regenerated material was thus heavily disrupted. Sulphuric acid hydrolysis of 60wt%-treated samples yielded the highest amount of glucose per gram of rice husk. Solutions with good lignin and silica solubility but only moderate to negligible cellulose solubility (10–40wt% hydroxide) were equally effective as pre-treatment media for both acid and enzymatic hydrolysis. However, pre-treatment with 60wt% hydroxide solutions was incompatible with downstream enzymatic hydrolysis. This was due to significant incorporation of phosphonium species in the regenerated biomass, which significantly inhibited the activity of the cellulase enzymes.