Organosolv Pretreatment for Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Poplars: I. Enzyme Hydrolysis of Cellulosic Residues

H. L. Chum, D. K. Johnson, S. Black, J. Baker, K. Grohmann, K. V. Sarkanen, K. Wallace, H. A. Schroeder

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138 Scopus Citations


Aspen (Populus tremuloides) and black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) organosolv pulps produced in a wide range of solvent composition (between 30 and 70% by volume of methanol) and catalysts (H2SO4 and H3PO4) such that the cooking liquor pH ⩽ 3 are easily digested by enzymes. The total yields of hydrolysis residues (pulps) are in the 40–60% range; the acid‐catalyzed delignification followed by enzyme hydrolysis can generate 70–88% of the original six‐carbon sugars contained in the wood. Glucomannan and arablnogalactan are dissolved into the pulping liquor in the pH range of 2–4.5. Lower pH (⩽3) leads to additional solubilization of six‐carbon sugars. These sugars may be fermented directly. From the insoluble hydrolysis residues, 36–41% conversions of wood into fermentable sugars were obtained after enzyme hydrolysis; the starting feedstocks contain 50.8 and 46.6% hexosans, respectively, for aspen and black cotton‐wood. The kinetics of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose can be formally treated as two simultaneous pseudo‐first‐order reactions in which fast and slow hydrolyses of cellulose occur. Correlations between the glucan digestibility and the effect of the pretreatment have been made. The higher residual xylan content reduces the amount of the rapidly hydrolyzable glucan fraction and lowers the glucan digestibility. The proposed simple kinetic treatment is very helpful in assessing the effect of the pretreatment on pulp enzyme hydrolyzability.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)643-649
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1988

NREL Publication Number

  • ACNR/JA-234-8562


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