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.

Cellulose-rich biomass

Inhibitor-free biomass

Saccharification yield


Cellic CTec2


Vijayendran Raghavendran

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology

University of Sheffield

Christos Nitsos

Luleå University of Technology

Leonidas Matsakas

Luleå University of Technology

Ulrika Rova

Luleå University of Technology

P. Christakopoulos

Luleå University of Technology

Lisbeth Olsson

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology

AMB Express

2191-0855 (ISSN)

Vol. 8 1 114

Subject Categories

Renewable Bioenergy Research

Chemical Process Engineering

Polymer Technologies



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