Removal of Enzyme Inhibitors During Bio-Ethanol Production by Pyrolyzed Poly-Furfural

Tuesday, November 9, 2010: 10:30 AM
250 A Room (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Kuang Zhang, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA and W.J. Koros, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Ethanol can be produced from lignocellulosic biomass through fermentation. However, some byproducts from lignocellulosics, such as furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) are highly toxic to the fermentation and can substantially impede the ethanol-producing efficiency. A novel sorbent was developed to selectively remove the enzyme inhibitors, primarily furfural compounds, from water solution during the bio-ethanol production. The characteristics of the sorbent are described by: (1) High sorption capacity to minimize the amount of sorbent needed; (2) Favorable mass transfer properties for rapid sorption; (3) Sufficient selectivity between inhibitors and sugars during the separation. After selectively removing inhibitors from the broth, the cell growth and ethanol production efficiency recovers noticeably in the fermentation. The spent sorbents were regenerated and reused in the fixed-bed column system using ethanol-containing liquid from fermentation.

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See more of this Session: Adsorption Applications for Sustainable Future
See more of this Group/Topical: Separations Division