Membrane Extraction for Detoxification of Biomass Hydrolysates

David L. Grzenia, Daniel J. Schell, S. Ranil Wickramasinghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus Citations


Membrane extraction was used for the removal of sulfuric acid, acetic acid, 5-hydroxymethyl furfural and furfural from corn stover hydrolyzed with dilute sulfuric acid. Microporous polypropylene hollow fiber membranes were used. The organic extractant consisted of 15% Alamine 336 in: octanol, a 50:50 mixture of oleyl alcohol:octanol or oleyl alcohol. Rapid removal of sulfuric acid, 5-hydroxymethyl and furfural was observed. The rate of acetic acid removal decreased as the pH of the hydrolysate increased. Regeneration of the organic extractant was achieved by back extraction into an aqueous phase containing NaOH and ethanol. A cleaning protocol consisting of flushing the hydrolysate compartment with NaOH and the organic phase compartment with pure organic phase enabled regeneration and reuse of the module. Ethanol yields from hydrolysates detoxified by membrane extraction using 15% Alamine 336 in oleyl alcohol were about 10% higher than those from hydrolysates detoxified using ammonium hydroxide treatment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-54216


  • Bioethanol
  • Biofuel
  • Corn stover
  • Hydrolysate conditioning
  • Lignocellulosic biomass


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