284677 Understanding How Cell Wall Differences in Agave, Poplar, and Switchgrass Affect Deconstruction in Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Hongjia Li, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Riverside, RIVERSIDE, CA, Sivakumar Pattathil, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, Marcus Foston, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, Reichel Samuel, 3Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, Rajeev Kumar, Center for Environmental Research and Technology, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, Arthur J. Ragauskas, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, Michael G. Hahn, University of Georgia, Athens, GA and Charles E. Wyman, BioEnergy Science Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN; Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA

Agave has emerged as promising biofuels feedstock mainly because it offers high productivity with low water and nutrient demands on semiarid lands. However, our recent results indicated that agave is also significantly less recalcitrant than typical lignocellulosic feedstocks such as poplar and switchgrass. Systematic understanding of structural differences in agave, poplar, and switchgrass and the consequences on cell wall deconstruction can provide clues on paths to reduce recalcitrance that is the key impediment to large-scale commercialization of processes for making fuels from cellulosic biomass. Thus, our high throughput pretreatment and hydrolysis (HTPH) system was used to evaluate the effect of hydrothermal pretreatment conditions and enzyme formulations on sugar yields for four agave materials along with poplar and switchgrass. At the same time, a series of characterization techniques were applied to compare structural differences in cell walls, including lignin composition, non-cellulosic wall components and extractability, cellulose crystalline structure, and surface accessibility.  These studies identified important structural features that contribute to lower recalcitrance of agave species and suggested promising directions for more cost effective deconstruction of cell walls of other plants.

Extended Abstract: File Not Uploaded
See more of this Session: Poster Session: Sustainability and Sustainable Biorefineries
See more of this Group/Topical: Sustainable Engineering Forum