, Volume 160, Issue 2, pp 539-551
Date: 06 Jan 2009

Pretreatment of Rice Straw by a Hot-Compressed Water Process for Enzymatic Hydrolysis

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Hot-compressed water (HCW) is among several cost-effective pretreatment processes of lignocellulosic biomass for enzymatic hydrolysis. The present work investigated the characteristics of HCW pretreatment of rice straw including sugar production and inhibitor formation in the liquid fraction and enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated material. Pretreatment was carried out at a temperature ranging from 140 to 240 °C for 10 or 30 min. Soluble oligosaccharides were found to constitute almost all the components of total sugars in the liquid fraction. The maximal production of total glucose at 180 °C and below accounted for 4.4–4.9% of glucan in raw material. Total xylose production peaked at 180 °C, accounting for 43.3% of xylan in raw material for 10-min pretreatment and 29.8% for 30-min pretreatment. The production of acetic acid increased at higher temperatures and longer treatment time, indicating more significant disruption of lignocellulosic structure, and furfural production achieved the maximum (2.8 mg/ml) at 200 °C for both 10-min and 30-min processes. The glucose yield by enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated rice straw was no less than 85% at 180 °C and above for 30-min pretreatment and at 200 °C and above for 10-min pretreatment. Considering sugar recovery, inhibitor formation, and process severity, it is recommended that a temperature of 180 °C for a time of 30 min can be the most efficient process for HCW pretreatment of rice straw.