Fractionation of lignocellulosic biopolymers from sugarcane bagasse using formic acid-catalyzed organosolv process
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A one-step formic acid-catalyzed organosolv process using a low-boiling point acid–solvent system was studied for fractionation of sugarcane bagasse. Compared to H2SO4, the use of formic acid as a promoter resulted in higher efficiency and selectivity on removals of hemicellulose and lignin with increased enzymatic digestibility of the cellulose-enriched solid fraction. The optimal condition from central composite design analysis was determined as 40 min residence time at 159 °C using water/ethanol/ethyl acetate/formic acid in the respective ratios of 43:20:16:21%v/v. Under this condition, a 94.6% recovery of cellulose was obtained in the solid with 80.2% cellulose content while 91.4 and 80.4% of hemicellulose and lignin were removed to the aqueous–alcohol–acid and ethyl acetate phases, respectively. Enzymatic hydrolysis of the solid yielded 84.5% glucose recovery compared to available glucan in the raw material. Physicochemical analysis revealed intact cellulose fibers with decreased crystallinity while the hemicellulose was partially recovered as mono- and oligomeric sugars. High-purity organosolv lignin with < 1% sugar cross-contamination was obtained with no major structural modification according to Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The work represents an alternative process for efficient fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass in biorefineries.
KeywordsBiorefinery Fractionation Organosolv Sugarcane bagasse Solvent recovery
This project was financially supported by PTT Global Chemicals and the Thailand Research Fund (RTA5980006). Manuscript proofreading by Dr. Pornkamol Unrean and Dr. Philip J. Shaw is appreciated.
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Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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