Author(s): Sun FF, Zhao X, Hong J, Tang Y, Wang L,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Previous work has demonstrated that glycerol organosolv pretreatment can effectively improve the hydrolyzability of various lignocellulosic substrates. This pretreatment process strategy is ideal to integrate a commercially successful lignocellulosic and vegetable oil biorefinery industry. However, industrially relevant high-solid-loading hydrolyzability and fermentability of the pretreated substrates have yet to be considered for enzyme-based lignocellulosic biorefineries. RESULTS: In this study, an AGO pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse was evaluated with regard to the component selectivity, structural modification, hydrolyzability, and fermentation of pretreated substrates. The results showed that the AGO pretreatment presented good component selectivity, removing approximately 70 \% lignin and hemicellulose, respectively, from sugarcane bagasse with a near-intact preservation (94 \%) of the overall cellulose. The pretreatment deconstructed the recalcitrant architecture of natural lignocellulosic biomass, thereby modifying the structure at the macro-/micrometer level (fiber size, surface area, average size, roughness) and supermolecular level (key chemical bond dissociation) of lignocellulosic substrates towards good hydrolyzability. Notably, extraordinarily few fermentation inhibitors (<0.2 g furfural and 5-hydromethyl furfural/kg feedstock) were generated from the AGO pretreatment process, which was apparently due to the prominent role of glycerol organic solvent in protecting monosaccharides against further degradation. The 72-h enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated substrates at 15 \% solid content achieved 90 \% completion with Cellic CTec2 at 10 FPU/g dried substrate. With a simple nutrition (only 10 g/L (NH4)2SO4) addition, the fed-batch semi-SSF of AGO-pretreated substrates (30 \% solid content) almost reached 50 g/L ethanol with cellulase preparation at 10 FPU/g dried substrate. These results have revealed that the pretreated substrate is susceptible and accessible to cellulase enzymes, thereafter exhibiting remarkable hydrolyzability and fermentability. CONCLUSION: The AGO pretreatment is a promising candidate for the current pretreatment process towards industrially relevant enzyme-based lignocellulosic biorefineries.
This article was published in Biotechnol Biofuels
and referenced in Journal of Biodiversity, Bioprospecting and Development