Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 397–411 | Cite as

Evaluation of organosolv pretreatment for bioethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass: solvent recycle and process integration

  • André Rodrigues Gurgel da Silva
  • Massimiliano Errico
  • Ben-Guang Rong
Original Article


The production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic feedstock has proven to be a complex task due to the recalcitrant structure of the biomass. Organosolv pretreatment is a promising alternative to remove nearly pure lignin from the biomass and make the sugars available for conversion. However, in order for the organosolv pretreatment to be technically feasible, an efficient solvent recycle is required. This work studied the complete process for lignocellulosic bioethanol production based on organosolv pretreatment method. First, process synthesis is applied to devise six process alternatives for the bioethanol production based on theoretical and experimental works. The analysis was focused on the solvent recovery and recirculation, integrating the pretreatment and product separation and purification areas. Technical and economic indicators were employed to reveal the best alternative among the proposed designs. The results showed that the minimum ethanol selling price for the process was US$1.27/kg of ethanol with a total energy consumption of 29.02 kWh per kilogram of ethanol produced, with 43% of that from hot utilities and 57% from cold utilities.


Bioethanol Organosolv pretreatment Lignocellulosic biomass Process synthesis Process simulation 



We thank the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – Brazil (CNPq) for the financial support for this study.

Supplementary material

13399_2017_292_MOESM1_ESM.docx (46 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 46 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental TechnologyUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

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