Recalcitrance Assessment of the Agro-industrial Residues from Five Agave Species: Ionic Liquid Pretreatment, Saccharification and Structural Characterization

Ashutosh Mittal, Jose Perez-Pimienta, Reyna Mojica-Alvarez, Leticia Sanchez-Herrera, Robert Sykes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Agave has recently shown its potential as a bioenergy feedstock with promising features such as higher biomass productivity than leading bioenergy feedstock while at the same time being drought-resistant with low water requirements and high sugar to ethanol conversion using ionic liquid (IL) pretreatment. IL pretreatment was studied to develop the first direct side-by-side comparative recalcitrance assessment of the agro-industrial residues from five Agave species [Agave americana (AME), A. angustifolia (ANG), A. fourcroydes (FOU), A. salmiana (SAL), and A. tequilana (TEQ)] using compositional analysis, X-ray diffraction, and the lignin syringyl/guaiacyl subunit ratio (S/G) by pyrolysis molecular beam mass spectrometry (PyMBMS). Prominent calcium oxalate peaks were found only in unpretreated AME, SAL, and TEQ. The S/G ratios of all five unpretreated Agave species were between 1.27 and 1.57 while the IL-pretreated samples were from 1.39 to 1.72. The highest overall sugar production was obtained with IL-pretreated FOU with 492 mg glucose/g biomass and 157 mg xylose/g biomass at 120 °C and 3 h using 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2C1Im][OAc]). An estimated theoretical ethanol yield from the studied agro-industrial residues from the five Agave species was in the range of 1060 to 5800 L ethanol/ha/year. These comparison results demonstrate the potential of the Agave spp. as a suitable biofuel feedstock which can be employed within a biorefinery scheme.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)551-561
Number of pages11
JournalBioenergy Research
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-71742

Keywords

  • Agave
  • Biofuels
  • Characterization
  • Crystallinity
  • S/G
  • Saccharification

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