Mark T. Holtzapple, Texas A&M University, Dept. Chemical Engineering, College Station, TX 77843-3122 and Rocio Sierra, Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, Dept. Chemical Engineering, College Station, TX 77843-3122.
Poplar wood was treated with lime only and lime + air at the following conditions: temperature = 25 to 75oC, time = 1 to 12 weeks, lime loading = 0.5 g Ca(OH)2/g biomass (which is a great excess). At each condition, mass balances were performed to determine the amount of each component (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, acetyl, ash, extractives) that was retained in the solid phase. Enzymatic hydrolysis was performed to determined the digestibility at each condition. Conditions were identified that allowed hydrolysis of nearly 100% of the cellulose in the solid phase.