Author(s): Todd J, Brian Carter
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This study investigated the detoxification of a dilute acid pretreated Ponderosa pine slurry using the polyelectrolyte polyethyleneimine (PEI). The addition of polyelectrolyte to remove enzymatic and/or fermentation inhibitory compounds, that is, acetic acid, furfural, and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), was performed either before or after enzymatic hydrolysis to determine the optimal process sequence. Negligible acetic acid, glucose, and xylose were removed regardless of where in the process the polymer addition was made. Maximum furfural and HMF separation was achieved with the addition of PEI to a clarified pre-enzymatic hydrolysis liquor, which showed that 88.3% of furfural and 66.4% of HMF could be removed. On the other hand, only 23.1% and 13.4% of furfural and HMF, respectively, were removed from a post-enzymatic hydrolysis sample; thus, the effects of enzymes, glucose, and wood solids on inhibitor removal were also investigated. The presence of solid particles >0.2 µm and unknown soluble components <10 kDa reduced inhibitory compound removal, but the presence of elevated glucose levels and enzymes (cellulases) did not affect the separation. The fermentability of detoxified versus undetoxified hydrolysate was also investigated. An ethanol yield of 92.6% of theoretical was achieved with Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermenting the detoxified hydrolyzate, while no significant ethanol was produced in the undetoxified hydrolyzate. These results indicate that PEI may provide a practical alternative for furan removal and detoxification of lignocellolosic hydrolysates, and that application before enzymatic hydrolysis minimizes separation interferences. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2011;108:2053–2060. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This article was published in Biotechnology & Bioengineering
and referenced in Fermentation Technology