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Bioresour Technol. 2011 Feb;102(4):3861-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.12.038. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Pretreatment of switchgrass for sugar production with the combination of sodium hydroxide and lime.

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Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Campus Box 7625, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7625, USA.


Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and lime (Ca(OH)(2)) were innovatively used together in this study to improve the cost-effectiveness of alkaline pretreatment of switchgrass at ambient temperature. Based on the sugar production in enzymatic hydrolysis, the best pretreatment conditions were determined as: residence time of 6h, NaOH loading of 0.10 g/g raw biomass, NaOH addition at the beginning, Ca(OH)(2) loading of 0.02 g/g raw biomass, and biomass wash intensity of 100ml water/g raw biomass, at which the glucose and xylose yields were respectively 59.4% and 57.3% of the theoretical yields. The sugar yield of the biomass pretreated using the combination of 0.10 g NaOH/g raw biomass and 0.02 g Ca(OH)(2)/g raw biomass was found comparable with that of the biomass pretreated using 0.20 g NaOH/g raw biomass at the same conditions, while the chemical expense was remarkably reduced due to the low cost of lime and the reduced loading of NaOH.

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