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Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(1):348-57. doi: 10.3390/ijms13010348. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

Acidic pretreatment of wheat straw in decanol for the production of surfactant, lignin and glucose.

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Agro-Industrie Recherches et Développement "Green Chemistry Department", F-51110 POMACLE, France; E-Mails: (S.M.); (M.A.).


Wheat straw is an abundant residue of agriculture which is increasingly being considered as feedstock for the production of fuels, energy and chemicals. The acidic decanol-based pre-treatment of wheat straw has been investigated in this work. Wheat straw hemicellulose has been efficiently converted during a single step operation into decyl pentoside surfactants and the remaining material has been preserved keeping all its promises as potential feedstock for fuels or value added platform chemicals such as hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). The enzymatic digestibility of the cellulose contained in the straw residue has been evaluated and the lignin prepared from the material characterized. Wheat-based surfactants thus obtained have exhibited superior surface properties compared to fossil-based polyethoxylates decyl alcohol or alkyl oligoglucosides, some of which are largely used surfactants. In view of the growing importance of renewable resource-based molecules in the chemical industry, this approach may open a new avenue for the conversion of wheat straw into various chemicals.


biomass; decyl pentosides; glycosylation; lignin; surfactants; wheat straw

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