BioEnergy Research

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 985–997 | Cite as

Characterization of Blue Agave Bagasse (BAB) as Raw Material for Bioethanol Production Processes by Gravimetric, Thermal, Chromatographic, X-ray Diffraction, Microscopy, and Laser Light Scattering Techniques

  • Oscar Hernández-MeléndezEmail author
  • Floriberto Miguel-Cruz
  • Carmina Montiel
  • Martín Hernández-Luna
  • Eduardo Vivaldo-LimaEmail author
  • Carlos Mena-Brito
  • Eduardo Bárzana


A detailed characterization of the main types of blue agave bagasse (BAB) obtained from the four largest tequila factories in the State of Jalisco (Mexico) is presented here. After milling/sieving the agave bagasses, two particle size fractions were identified, one rich in fibers and the other consisting of dust/fine particles. Both fractions were analyzed to determine the content of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, organic-soluble compounds, absorbed remaining sugars, minerals, and organic matter. After detailed analyses of both fractions by wet, thermal (thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA)/differential thermo-gravimetric analysis (DTA)), and other methods (high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), microscopy, particle size by laser diffraction light scattering, and crystallinity by X-ray diffraction), a moderate-to-intensive method was devised for further processing the fibrous fraction, which had a high crystalline cellulose content, as well as for its subsequent enzymatic saccharification under well-defined moderate conditions. Alternative processing options were also devised for the dust/fine particle fraction, which has a moderate crystalline cellulose that is rich in adsorbed sugars and that has a high mineral matter content.


Lignocellulosic residues Blue agave bagasse Alkaline extrusion Sugar production 



The authors wish to acknowledge financial support from the (a) European Community, Seventh Framework Program (FP7), Project BABETHANOL (New feedstock and innovative transformation process for a more sustainable development and production of lignocellulosic ethanol), grant agreement no. 227498-2, and (b) DGAPA-UNAM, PAPIIT Project IG100815. This study is also part of the research projects carried out through the Bioenergy Thematic Network (“Red Temática de Bioenergía”) with partial support from the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) of Mexico, grant no. 260457. The authors also thank Dr. Alberto López-Luna and Mrs. Lidia Itzincab-Mejía, Dr. Alberto Rosas-Aburto, Mr. Ivan Puente Lee, Mrs. Cecilia Salcedo, and Mrs. Margarita Portilla, for their help with HPLC/GPC, particle size distribution, SEM, XRD, and TGA/DTA analyses, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oscar Hernández-Meléndez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Floriberto Miguel-Cruz
    • 2
  • Carmina Montiel
    • 3
  • Martín Hernández-Luna
    • 1
  • Eduardo Vivaldo-Lima
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlos Mena-Brito
    • 4
  • Eduardo Bárzana
    • 3
  1. 1.Facultad de Química, Departamento de Ingeniería QuímicaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexicoMexico
  2. 2.Consejo Regulador del TequilaZapopanMexico
  3. 3.Facultad de Química, Departamento de AlimentosUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexicoMexico
  4. 4.Centro Mario Molina Para Estudios Estratégicos Sobre Energía y Medio AmbienteMexicoMexico

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