BACKGROUND: Production of bioethanol from wood using concentrated acid hydrolysis has received less attention than the dilute acid hydrolysis route. The feasibility of producing lignocellulosic bioethanol from spruce and birch via concentrated acid hydrolysis was studied experimentally. Hydrolysis with sulfuric acid, chromatographic purification of the hydrolysate, and fermentation of the monosaccharides were investigated.
RESULTS: Monosaccharide yields of 70% were obtained in the hydrolysis of spruce and birch. Only low amounts of by‐products were formed. With chromatographic purification of the hydrolysate, over 90% of the hydrolysis acid was recovered for recycling, and furfural and HMF were removed completely. Most of the acetic acid was recovered in a separate fraction. The monosaccharide yield in a single pass separation was approximately 70%. In the fermentation, S. cerevisiae produced higher amounts of ethanol and more efficiently than P. stipitis. Chromatographically purified hydrolysates gave higher ethanol productivities and yields than Ca(OH)2 neutralized hydrolysates.CONCLUSIONS: Chromatographic purification of concentrated acid lignocellulosic hydrolysates has advantages when compared with neutralization with Ca(OH)2. With chromatography, most of the inhibitory compounds can be removed from the hydrolysates. In addition, due to the recycling of the hydrolysis acid, the economy of the bioethanol manufacturing process is increased considerably.
- concentrated acid hydrolysis
- chromatographic separation