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Minimization of fermentation inhibitor generation by carbon dioxide-water based pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis of guayule biomass

Islam, S.M. Mahfuzul, Elliott, J. Richard, Ju, Lu-Kwang
Bioresource technology 2018 v.251 pp. 84-92
Kluyveromyces marxianus, acetic acid, bagasse, biomass, carbon, cellulose, enzymatic hydrolysis, ethanol production, fermentation, furfural, guayule, hemicellulose, hydroxymethylfurfural, leaves, reducing sugars
Guayule rubber production leaves >80% biomass as ground bagasse, which can be hydrolyzed to release sugars but also fermentation inhibitors. Here inhibitor generation and sugar conversion by the CO2-H2O pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis were studied. Different pretreatment conditions: 550–4900 psi, 160–195 °C, 10–60 min and fixed 66.7% water, generated widely varying amounts of inhibitors (per dry-bagasse mass): 0.014–0.252% hydroxymethylfurfural, 0.012–0.794% furfural and 0.17–8.02% acetic acid. The condition (195 °C/3400 psi/30 min) giving highest reducing sugar (86.9 ± 1.5%) and cellulose (99.2 ± 1.3%) conversions generated more inhibitors. Kluyveromyces marxianus fermentation showed complete growth and ethanol production inhibition at ≥14 g/L combined inhibitors. Considering both sugars and inhibitors, the optimum condition was 180 °C, 1800 psi and 30 min, enabling 82.8 ± 2.8% reducing sugar, 74.8 ± 4.8% cellulose and 88.5 ± 6.9% hemicellulose conversions with low levels of hydroxymethylfurfural (0.07%), furfural (0.25%) and acetic acid (3.0%). The optimized CO2-H2O pretreatment gave much lower inhibitor formation and higher sugar conversion than other pretreatment methods.