389277 Saccharification and Lignin Fractionation of Lignocellulosic Biomass in Molten Salt Hydrate System

Monday, November 17, 2014: 9:45 AM
M103 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Xuejun Pan, Ning Li, Chaoqun Mei and Li Shuai, Biological Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Molten salt hydrate (MSH) has unique properties, such as high boiling point and depressed freezing point, very low water vapor pressure, enhanced acidity, and high enthalpy of mixing. Some MSHs are able to swell and solubilize cellulose through breaking inter- and intra-molecule hydrogen bonds of cellulose. Compared to ionic liquids, MSHs are inexpensive and easier to prepare and recover. Recently, our investigation indicated that lignocellulosic biomass (such as corn stover, switchgrass, hardwood and softwood) could be quickly and completely saccharified without any pretreatment under moderate conditions (110-130 °C for 10-60 min) in molten salt hydrate systems. Both cellulose and hemicellulose in lignocellulosic biomass were completely hydrolyzed into fermentable sugars with high yield and selectivity (>90%). Lignin in the biomass was remained as insoluble residue and could be easily separated for co-products development. In this presentation, we report the results of process optimization of biomass saccharification in molten salt hydrate, sugar-salt separation after the saccharification, lignin characterization and co-product potential, and techno-economic analysis of the system.

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