High Titer and Yields Achieved with Novel, Low-Severity Pretreatment Strategy

Melvin Tucker

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


NREL researchers obtained high concentration sugar syrups in enzymatic hydrolysis that are fermentable to ethanol and other advanced biofuels and intermediate products at high yields. The novel DMR process is simpler and bypasses all severe pretreatment methods, thus reducing the environmental impact. The results are unprecedented. Researchers achieved a high concentration of sugars (230g/L of monomeric sugar and 270 g/L total sugar) and this low toxicity, highly fermentable syrup yielded 86 g/L ethanol (> 90 percent conversion). In addition, the lignin streams from this process can readily be converted to jet or renewable diesel blendstocks through a hydrodeoxygenation step. The NREL-developed, low severity DMR process may potentially replace higher severity chemical pretreatments and associated expensive reactors constructed of exotic alloys with a simpler process, using commercial-scale equipment commonly associated with the pulp and paper industry, to produce high concentration, low toxicity sugar streams and highly reactive lignin streams from non-food renewable biomass for biological and catalytic upgrading to advanced biofuels and chemicals. The simpler DMR process with black liquor recycling could reduce environmental and life-cycle impacts, and repurpose shuttered pulp and paper mills to help revitalize rural economies.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5100-65917


  • bioenergy
  • biofuels
  • deacetylation and mechanical refining
  • DMR
  • ethanol


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