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Optimizing the saccharification of sugar cane bagasse using dilute phosphoric acid followed by fungal cellulases

Geddes, C.C., Peterson, J.J., Roslander, C., Zacchi, G., Mullinnix, M.T., Shanmugam, K.T., Ingram, L.O.
Bioresource technology 2010 v.101 no.6 pp. 1851-1857
chemical composition, hemicellulose, lignocellulose, renewable energy sources, reducing sugars, sulfuric acid, hydrolysates, alcoholic fermentation, cellulose, sugarcane bagasse, phosphoric acid, enzymatic hydrolysis, acid hydrolysis, biomass, beta-glucosidase, saccharification
A low level of phosphoric acid (1% w/w on dry bagasse basis, 160°C and above, 10min) was shown to effectively hydrolyze the hemicellulose in sugar cane bagasse into monomers with minimal side reactions and to serve as an effective pre-treatment for the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose. Up to 45% of the remaining water-insoluble solids (WIS) was digested to sugar monomers by a low concentration of Biocellulase W (0.5filter paper unit/gWIS) supplemented with β-glucosidase, although much higher levels of cellulase (100-fold) were required for complete hydrolysis. After neutralization and nutrient addition, phosphoric acid syrups of hemicellulose sugars were fermented by ethanologenic Escherichia coli LY160 without further purification. Fermentation of these syrups was preceded by a lag that increased with increased pre-treatment temperature. Further improvements in organisms and optimization of steam treatments may allow the co-fermentation of sugars derived from hemicellulose and cellulose, eliminating need for liquid-solid separation, sugar purification, and separate fermentations.