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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2006 Spring;129-132:448-60.

Preliminary results on optimization of pilot scale pretreatment of wheat straw used in coproduction of bioethanol and electricity.

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  • 1Biosystems Department, Risø National Laboratory, POB 49, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark.


The overall objective in this European Union-project is to develop cost and energy effective production systems for coproduction of bioethanol and electricity based on integrated biomass utilization. A pilot plan reactor for hydrothermal pretreatment (including weak acid hydrolysis, wet oxidation, and steam pretreatment) with a capacity of 100 kg/h was constructed and tested for pretreatment of wheat straw for ethanol production. Highest hemicellulose (C5 sugar) recovery and extraction of hemicellulose sugars was obtained at 190 degrees C whereas highest C6 sugar yield was obtained at 200 degrees C. Lowest toxicity of hydrolysates was observed at 190 degrees C; however, addition of H2O2 improved the fermentability and sugar recoveries at the higher temperatures. The estimated total ethanol production was 223 kg/t straw assuming utilisation of both C6 and C5 during fermentation, and 0.5 g ethanol/g sugar.

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