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Pretreatment Methods for Bioethanol Production

Xu, Zhaoyang, Huang, Fang
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 2014 v.174 no.1 pp. 43-62
ammonia, bioethanol, biomass, biotransformation, cellulose, enzymatic hydrolysis, enzymes, ethanol production, fermentation, forests, grasses, hemicellulose, lignin, lignocellulose, ozonolysis, soaking, sodium hydroxide, sugars, wood
Lignocellulosic biomass, such as wood, grass, agricultural, and forest residues, are potential resources for the production of bioethanol. The current biochemical process of converting biomass to bioethanol typically consists of three main steps: pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation. For this process, pretreatment is probably the most crucial step since it has a large impact on the efficiency of the overall bioconversion. The aim of pretreatment is to disrupt recalcitrant structures of cellulosic biomass to make cellulose more accessible to the enzymes that convert carbohydrate polymers into fermentable sugars. This paper reviews several leading acidic, neutral, and alkaline pretreatments technologies. Different pretreatment methods, including dilute acid pretreatment (DAP), steam explosion pretreatment (SEP), organosolv, liquid hot water (LHW), ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX), soaking in aqueous ammonia (SAA), sodium hydroxide/lime pretreatments, and ozonolysis are intensively introduced and discussed. In this minireview, the key points are focused on the structural changes primarily in cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin during the above leading pretreatment technologies.