, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 133-139

On an available pretreatment for the enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulosic materials

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In order to aim at a proved pretreatment for the enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulosic materials, the combined effect of the steam explosion treatment and the newly added alkali-hydrogen peroxide treatment was investigated. As a result, the following findings were obtained from comparison of the saccharification ratio (%) among the materials used: 1) Marked differences based on the lignocellulosic species characteristic of biological materials were observed. 2) Lignocellulosic samples such as rice straw, poplar, and maple chips gave enzymatic saccharification ratio (%) close to 100% by using the samples obtained after extraction with various solvents without alkali-hydrogen peroxide treatment. 3) Chip samples such as Japanese larch, loblolly pine, and Japanese cypress gave the very low enzymatic saccharification ratio (%) of 20–40% after the steam explosion and extraction with various solvents. 4) In comparison with enzymatic saccharification ratio (%) of original samples treated with steam explosion, alkali-hydrogen peroxide treatment resulted in greater effect based on the treatment of 2–2.5 times. 5) Alkali-hydrogen peroxide treatment afforded remarkable effects based on the treatment of the softwoods, such as Japanese larch and loblolly pine.

The author is indebted to Professor Mitsuhiko Tanahashi, Faculty of Agriculture, Gifu University, for assistance on preparation of various lignocellulosic samples using a steam explosion equipment. The investigation was supported by the grant-in-aid for scientific research of the Ministry of Education in Japan