, Volume 130, Issue 1-3, pp 496-508

Ethanol production from steam-explosion pretreated wheat straw

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Abstract

Bioconversion of cereal straw to bioethanol is becoming an attractive alternative to conventional fuel ethanol production from grains. In this work, the best operational conditions for steam-explosion pretreatment of wheat straw for ethanol production by a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation process were studied, using diluted acid [H2SO4 0.9% (w/w)] and water as preimpregnation agents. Acid-or water-impregnated biomass was steam-exploded at different temperatures (160–200°C) and residence times (5, 10, and 20 min). Composition of solid and filtrate obtained after pretreatment, enzymatic digestibility and ethanol production of pretreated wheat straw at different experimental conditions was analyzed. The best pretreatment conditions to obtain high conversion yield to ethanol (approx 80% of theoretical) of cellulose-rich residue after steam-explosion were 190°C and 10 min or 200°C and 5 min, in acid-impregnated straw. However, 180°C for 10 min in acid-impregnated biomass provided the highest ethanol yield referred to raw material (140 L/t wheat straw), and sugars recovery yield in the filtrate (300 g/kg wheat straw).