High Xylose Yields from Dilute Acid Pretreatment of Corn Stover Under Process-Relevant Conditions
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Pretreatment experiments were carried out to demonstrate high xylose yields at high solids loadings in two different batch pretreatment reactors under process-relevant conditions. Corn stover was pretreated with dilute sulfuric acid using a 4-l Steam Digester and a 4-l stirred ZipperClave® reactor. Solids were loaded at 45% dry matter (wt/wt) after sulfuric acid catalyst impregnation using nominal particle sizes of either 6 or 18 mm. Pretreatment was carried out at temperatures between 180 and 200 °C at residence times of either 90 or 105 s. Results demonstrate an ability to achieve high xylose yields (>80%) over a range of pretreatment conditions, with performance showing little dependence on particle size or pretreatment reactor type. The high xylose yields are attributed to effective catalyst impregnation and rapid rates of heat transfer during pretreatment.