, Volume 137-140, Issue 1-12, pp 379-394

Liquid hot water pretreatment of olive tree pruning residues

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Olive tree pruning generates an abundant, renewable lignocellulose residue, which is usually burnt on fields to prevent propagation of vegetal diseases, causing economic costs and environmental concerns. As a first step in an alternative use to produce fuel ethanol, this work is aimed to study the pretreatment of olive tree pruning residues by liquid hot water. Pretreatment was carried out at seven temperature levels in the range 170–230°C for 10 or 60 min. Sugar recoveries in both solid and liquid fractions resulting from pretreatment as well as enzymatic hydrolysis yield of the solid were used to evaluate pretreatment performance. Results show that the enzyme accessibility of cellulose in the pretreated solid fraction increased with pretreatment time and temperature, although sugar degradation in the liquid fraction was concomitantly higher.