Timko, Michael T.
University of Campinas
This experiment analyzed the ability of biochar to detoxify lignocellulose biomass hydrolysate, a common feedstock for second generation ethanol. Before lignocellulose biomass can be fermented, it undergoes hydrolysis to break down the coarse structure of the biomass. Hydrolysis increases the surface area of carbohydrates, while simultaneously creating fermentation inhibitors, such as furans, phenols, and weak acids. Before the hydrolysate can be fermented it must be detoxified. The experiment determined that biochar is not able to adsorb fermentation inhibitors at a large enough capacity to successfully detoxify the hydrolysate. The found saturation capacity for all biochars was less than 34 mg/g and 20 mg/g, for 5- hydroxymethylfurfural and furfural respectively.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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