A comparative study of the enzymatic hydrolysis of batch organosolv-pretreated birch and spruce biomass
Journal article, 2018
A shift towards a sustainable and green society is vital to reduce the negative effects of climate change associated with increased CO2emissions. Lignocellulosic biomass is both renewable and abundant, but is recalcitrant to deconstruction. Among the methods of pretreatment available, organosolv (OS) delignifies cellulose efficiently, significantly improving its digestibility by enzymes. We have assessed the hydrolysability of the cellulose-rich solid fractions from OS-pretreated spruce and birch at 2% w/v loading (dry matter). Almost complete saccharification of birch was possible with 80 mg enzyme preparation/gsolids(12 FPU/gsolids), while the saccharification yield for spruce was only 70%, even when applying 60 FPU/gsolids. As the cellulose content is enriched by OS, the yield of glucose was higher than in their steam-exploded counterparts. The hydrolysate was a transparent liquid due to the absence of phenolics and was also free from inhibitors. OS pretreatment holds potential for use in a large-scale, closed-loop biorefinery producing fuels from the cellulose fraction and platform chemicals from the hemicellulose and lignin fractions respectively.