Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 26, Issue 15, pp 1207–1211 | Cite as

Improved method of analysis of biomass sugars using high-performance liquid chromatography

  • F.A. Agblevor
  • A. Murden
  • B.R. Hames


The precise quantitative analysis of biomass derived sugars is a very important step in the conversion of biomass feedstocks to fuels and chemicals. However, the most accurate method of biomass sugar analysis is based on the gas chromatography analysis of derivatized sugars either as alditol acetates or trimethylsilanes. The derivatization method is time-consuming but the alternative HPLC method cannot resolve most sugars found in biomass hydrolysates. We have demonstrated for the first time that by careful manipulation of the HPLC mobile phase, biomass monomeric sugars (arabinose, xylose, fructose, glucose, mannose, and galactose) can be analyzed quantitatively and there is excellent baseline resolution of all the sugars. This was demonstrated for both standard sugars and corn stover hydrolysates. Our method can also be used to analyze dimmeric sugars (cellobiose and sucrose).

biomass hydrolysates biomass sugars glucose HPLC analysis xylose 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • F.A. Agblevor
    • 1
  • A. Murden
    • 1
  • B.R. Hames
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological Systems EngineeringVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.National Renewable Energy LaboratoryGoldenUSA

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