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Enhancement and modeling of enzymatic hydrolysis on cellulose from Agave bagasse hydrothermally pretreated in a horizontal bioreactor

Pino, Marcela Sofía, Rodríguez-Jasso, Rosa M., Michelin, Michele, Ruiz, Héctor A.
Carbohydrate polymers 2019
Agave, X-ray diffraction, bagasse, biofuels, biomass, bioreactors, cellulose, cost effectiveness, endo-1,4-beta-glucanase, enzymatic hydrolysis, fuel production, glucose, lignocellulose, mathematical models, mixing, saccharification, scanning electron microscopy
One of the major challenges in biofuels production from lignocellulosic biomass is the generation of high glucose titers from cellulose in the enzymatic hydrolysis stage of pretreated biomass to guarantee a cost-effective process. Therefore, the enzymatic saccharification on cellulose at high solid loading is an alternative. In this work, the agave bagasse was hydrothermally pretreated and optimized at 194°C/30min, obtaining a pretreated solid rich in cellulose content (>46.46%), and subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis at high solid levels. A horizontal bioreactor was designed for enzyme saccharification at high solid loadings [25% (w/v)]. The bioreactor improved mixing efficiency, with cellulose conversions up to 98% (195.6g/L at 72h). Moreover, mathematical modeling of cellulase deactivation demonstrated that cellulases lose most of their initial activity in the first hours of the reaction. Also, cellulose was characterized by X-ray diffraction, and the pretreated solids were visualized using scanning electron microscopy.