Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 167, Issue 1, pp 81–99 | Cite as

Extrusion Pretreatment of Pine Wood Chips

  • C. KarunanithyEmail author
  • K. Muthukumarappan
  • W. R. Gibbons


Pretreatment is the first step to open up lignocellulose structure in the conversion of biomass to biofuels. Extrusion can be a viable pretreatment method due to its ability to simultaneously expose biomass to a range of disruptive conditions in a continuous flow process. Extruder screw speed, barrel temperature, and feedstock moisture content are important factors that can influence sugar recovery from biomass. Hence, the current study was undertaken to investigate the effects of these parameters on extrusion pretreatment of pine wood chips. Pine wood chip at 25, 35, and 45 % wb moisture content were pretreated at various barrel temperatures (100, 140, and 180 °C) and screw speeds (100, 150, and 200 rpm) using a screw with compression ratios of 3:1. The pretreated pine wood chips were subjected to standard enzymatic hydrolysis followed by sugar and byproducts quantification. Statistical analyses revealed the existence of significant differences in sugar recovery due to independent variables based on comparing the mean of main effects and interaction effects. Pine wood chips pretreated at a screw speed of 150 rpm and a barrel temperature of 180 °C with a moisture content of 25 % resulted in a maximum cellulose, hemicellulose, and total sugar recoveries of 65.8, 65.6, and 66.1 %, respectively, which was about 6.7, 7.9, and 6.8 fold higher than the control (unpretreated pine chips). Furthermore, potential fermentation inhibitors such as furfural, hydroxyl methyl furfural, and acetic acid were not found in any of the treatment combinations.


Biomass Sugar recovery Screw speed Barrel temperature Moisture content Byproducts 



This research was supported by funding from the Agricultural Experiment Station and North Central Sun Grant Center at South Dakota State University through a grant provided by the US Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary, Grant No.DTOS59-07-G-00054. Mr. Stephen Lawn from Oregon State who was kind enough to provide the pine wood chips for this study is highly appreciated. Also, enzymes supplied by Novozymes, Inc for conducting this study were greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Karunanithy
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. Muthukumarappan
    • 1
  • W. R. Gibbons
    • 2
  1. 1.Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering DepartmentSouth Dakota State UniversityBrookingsUSA
  2. 2.Biology and Microbiology DepartmentSouth Dakota State UniversityBrookingsUSA

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