, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 1125–1139 | Cite as

Selective fractionation and enzymatic hydrolysis of Eucalyptus nitens wood

  • L. Penín
  • S. Peleteiro
  • V. Santos
  • J. L. Alonso
  • J. C. ParajóEmail author
Original Paper


Eucalyptus nitens, a fast growing species with remarkable resistance to plagues and ability to grow in frosting zones, was employed as a raw material for chemical fractionation following a selected biorefinery scheme. E. nitens wood samples were assayed for composition, and subjected to consecutive stages of hydrothermal processing (to solubilize the hemicellulosic fraction), organosolv delignification (for obtaining sulfur-free, soluble lignin fragments and a cellulose-enriched solid phase) and swelling. The various fractions from the processing stages were assayed for yield and composition. Operating under selected conditions, the hydrothermal stage allowed the recovery of 80.7% of the initial xylan as soluble hydrolysis or hydrolysis–dehydration products. The solid leaving the swelling stage contained 88.3% cellulose, and accumulated 90.2% of the cellulose present in the native wood. Near total cellulose conversion into glucose was achieved when the swelled solid was employed as a substrate in enzymatic hydrolysis experiments performed under selected operational conditions.

Graphical abstract


Eucalyptus nitens Fractionation Biorefinery Enzymatic hydrolysis 



The authors are grateful to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity for supporting this study in the framework of the research project “Modified aqueous media for wood biorefineries” (reference CTQ2017-82962-R), partially funded by the FEDER program of the European Union.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of Vigo (Campus Ourense)OurenseSpain

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