Comparison of Yellow Poplar Pretreatment Between the NREL Digester and Sunds Hydrolyzer

M. P. Tucker, J. D. Farmer, F. A. Keller, D. J. Schell, Q. A. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus Citations


Single-stage cocurrent dilute acid pretreatments were carried out on yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) sawdust using an as-installed and short residence time modified pilot-scale Sunds hydrolyzer and a 4-L bench- scale NREL digester (steam explosion reactor). Pretreatment conditions for the Sunds hydrolyzer, installed in the NREL process development unit (PDU), which operates at I t/d (bone-dry t) feed rate, spanned the temperature range of 160-210°C, 0.1-1.0% (w/w) sulfuric acid, and 4-10-min residence times. The batch pretreatments of yellow poplar saw- dust in the bench-scale digester were carried out at 210 and 230°C, 0.26% (w/w) sulfuric acid, and 1-, 3-, and 4-min residence times. The dilute acid prehydrolysis solubilized more than 90% of the hemicellulose, and increased the enzymatic digestibility of the cellulose that remained in the solids. Compositional analysis of the pretreated solids and liquors and mass balance data show that the two pretreatment devices had similar pretreatment performance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology - Part A Enzyme Engineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - 1998

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-580-22894


  • Bioconversion
  • Biomass
  • Dilute-acid pretreatment
  • Ethanol


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