, Volume 98-100, Issue 1-9, pp 699-716

Comparison of the fermentability of enzymatic hydrolyzates of sugarcane bagasse pretreated by steam explosion using different impregnating agents

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Abstract

Sugarcane bagasse is a potential lignocellulosic feedstock for ethanol production, since it is cheap, readily available, and has a high carbohydrate content. In this work, bagasse was subjected to steam explosion pretreatment with different impregnation conditions. Three parallel pretreatments were carried out, one without any impregnation, a second with sulfur dioxide, and a third with sulfuric acid as the impregnating agent. The pretreatments were performed at 205°C for 10 min. The pretreated material was then hydrolyzed using celluloytic enzymes. The chemical composition of the hydrolyzates was analyzed. The highest yields of xylose (16.2 g/100 g dry bagasse), arabinose (1.5 g/100 g), and total sugar (52.9 g/100 g) were obtained in the hydrolysis of the SO2-impregnated bagasse. The H2SO4-impregnated bagasse gave the highest glucose yield (35.9 g/100 g) but the lowest total sugar yield (42.3 g/100 g) among the three methods. The low total sugar yield from the H2SO4-impregnated bagasse was largely due to by-product formation, as the dehydration of xylose to furfural. Sulfuric acid impregnation led to a three-fold increase in the concentration of the fermentation inhibitors furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and a two-fold increase in the concentration of inhibitory aliphatic acids (formic, acetic, and levulinic acids) compared to the other two pretreatment methods. The total content of phenolic compounds was not strongly affected by the different pretreatment methods, but the quantities of separate phenolic compounds were widely different in the hydrolyzate from the H2SO4-impregnated bagasse compared with the other two hydrolyzates. No major differences in the content of inhibitors were observed in the hydrolyzates obtained from SO2-impregnated and non-impregnated bagasse. The fermentability of all three hydrolyzates was tested with a xylose-utilizing Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain with and without nutrient supplementation. The hydrolyzates of SO2-impregnated and nonimpregnated bagasse showed similar fermentability, whereas the hydrolyzate of H2SO4-impregnated bagasse fermented considerably poorer.