Kinetics of Glucose Decomposition During Dilute-Acid Hydrolysis of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Recent research work in-house both at Auburn University and National Renewable Energy Laboratory has demonstrated that extremely low concentrations of acid (e.g., 0.05-0.2 wt% sulfuric acid) and high temperatures (e.g., 200-230?C) are reaction conditions that can be effectively applied for hydrolysis of the cellulosic component of biomass. These conditions are far from those of the conventionaldilute-acid hydrolysis processes, and the kinetic data for glucose decomposition are not currently available. We investigated the kinetics of glucose decomposition covering pH values of 1.5-2.2 and temperatures of 180-230?C using glass ampoule reactors. The primary factors controlling glucose decomposition are the reaction medium, acid concentration, and temperature. Based on the experimentaldata, a kinetic model was developed and the best-fit kinetic parameters were determined. However, a consistent discrepancy in the rate of glucose disappearance was found between that of the model based on pure glucose data and that observed during the actual process of lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysis. This was taken as an indication that glucose recombines with acid-soluble lignin during thehydrolysis process, and this conclusion was incorporated accordingly into the overall model of glucose decomposition.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2004
EventTwenty-Fifth Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals - Breckenridge, Colorado
Duration: 4 May 20037 May 2003


ConferenceTwenty-Fifth Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals
CityBreckenridge, Colorado

Bibliographical note

Posted with permission from Humana Press.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-510-34731


  • acid-base catalysis rules
  • acid-soluble lignins
  • dilute acid hydrolysis
  • glucose decomposition
  • kinetic modeling
  • reaction kinetics


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