Wood Science and Technology

, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 881–896 | Cite as

Ethanol organosolv pretreatment of softwood (Picea abies) and sugarcane bagasse for biofuel and biorefinery applications

  • Swarnima AgnihotriEmail author
  • Ingvild A. Johnsen
  • Maren S. Bøe
  • Karin Øyaas
  • Størker Moe


Ethanol derived from biomass has the potential to be a renewable transportation fuel that can replace gasoline. This work was carried out to establish an optimized ethanol organosolv pretreatment of Norway spruce (Picea abies) for bioethanol production (63 wt% EtOH, pH ~3.5 in aqueous phase, 170–240 °C, 90 min) utilizing hydrolytic enzymes in the saccharification step. To test the generality of the method, a series of ethanol organosolv pretreatments were also performed on sugarcane bagasse (50 wt% EtOH, pH ~3.5 in aqueous phase, 155–210 °C, 90–120 min). The degree of delignification increased with increasing temperature during pretreatment, and the fastest increase was observed with sugarcane bagasse. The pretreatments were carried out in a batch mode. The maximum degree of delignification of ~65 % was reached at ~235 °C for Norway spruce, while sugarcane bagasse reached ~80 % at ~210 °C. Cellulose was subjected to degradation (5–10 % points) at these temperatures. Subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis (30 FPU/g cellulose, 32 pNPGU/g cellulose, 50 °C, 48 h) of ethanol organosolv-pretreated biomass achieved complete conversion for both raw materials at the highest degrees of delignification.


Lignin Cellulase Hemicellulose Sugarcane Bagasse Organosolv 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work has been part of the LignoRef project (“Lignocellulosics as a basis for second generation biofuels and the future biorefinery”). We gratefully acknowledge The Research Council of Norway (Grant No. 190965/S60), Statoil ASA, Borregaard Industries Ltd., Allskog BA, Cambi AS, Xynergo AS, Hafslund ASA and Weyland AS for financial support. We also gratefully acknowledge Novozymes for providing the enzymes used in the saccharification trials.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Paper and Fibre Research Institute (PFI)TrondheimNorway

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