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Bioethanol, biohydrogen and biogas production from wheat straw in a biorefinery concept

Kaparaju, Prasad, Serrano, María, Thomsen, Anne Belinda, Kongjan, Prawit, Angelidaki, Irini
Bioresource technology 2009 v.100 no.9 pp. 2562-2568
renewable energy sources, biofuels, biogas, ethanol, hydrogen, wheat straw, biorefining, lignocellulose, hemicellulose, cellulose, enzymatic hydrolysis, methane production, Triticum aestivum
The production of bioethanol, biohydrogen and biogas from wheat straw was investigated within a biorefinery framework. Initially, wheat straw was hydrothermally liberated to a cellulose rich fiber fraction and a hemicellulose rich liquid fraction (hydrolysate). Enzymatic hydrolysis and subsequent fermentation of cellulose yielded 0.41g-ethanol/g-glucose, while dark fermentation of hydrolysate produced 178.0ml-H₂/g-sugars. The effluents from both bioethanol and biohydrogen processes were further used to produce methane with the yields of 0.324 and 0.381m³/kg volatile solids (VS)added, respectively. Additionally, evaluation of six different wheat straw-to-biofuel production scenaria showed that either use of wheat straw for biogas production or multi-fuel production were the energetically most efficient processes compared to production of mono-fuel such as bioethanol when fermenting C6 sugars alone. Thus, multiple biofuels production from wheat straw can increase the efficiency for material and energy and can presumably be more economical process for biomass utilization.