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Assessment of holocellulose for the production of bioethanol by conserving Pinus radiata cones as renewable feedstock

Victor, Amudhavalli, Pulidindi, Indra Neel, Gedanken, Aharon
Journal of environmental management 2015 v.162 pp. 215-220
Pinus radiata, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, bakers yeast, bioethanol, biomass, catalysts, ethanol, ethanol production, feedstocks, hydrochloric acid, hydrolysates, hydrolysis, irradiation, lignocellulose, microwave radiation, seed cones, sodium hydroxide, xylose
Renewable and green energy sources are much sought. Bioethanol is an environmentally friendly transportation fuel. Pine cones from Pinus radiata were shown to be a potential feedstock for the production of bioethanol. Alkaline (NaOH) pretreatment was carried out to delignify the lignocellulosic material and generate holocellulose (72 wt. % yield). The pretreated biomass was hydrolysed using HCl as catalyst under microwave irradiation and hydrothermal conditions. Microwave irradiation was found to be better than the hydrothermal process. Microwave irradiation accelerated the hydrolysis of biomass (42 wt. % conversion) with the reaction conditions being 3 M HCl and 5 min of irradiation time. Interestingly, even the xylose, which is the major component of the hydrolyzate was found to be metabolized to ethanol using Baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) under the experimental conditions. 5.7 g of ethanol could be produced from 100 g of raw pine cones.