High pressure HC1 conversion of cellulose to glucose

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The production of ethanol from glucose by means of fermentation represents a potential long-range alternative to oil for use as a transportation fuel. Today's rising oil prices and the dwindling world supply of oil have made other fuels, such as ethanol, attractive alternatives. It has been shown that automobiles can operate, with minor alterations, on a 10% ethanol-gasoline mixture popularly known as gasohol. Wood has long been known as a potential source of glucose. Glucose may be obtained from wood following acid hydrolysis. In this research, it was found that saturating wood particles with HCl gas under pressure was an ... continued below

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Antonoplis, Robert Alexander; Blanch, Harvey W. & Wilke, Charles R. August 1, 1981.

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The production of ethanol from glucose by means of fermentation represents a potential long-range alternative to oil for use as a transportation fuel. Today's rising oil prices and the dwindling world supply of oil have made other fuels, such as ethanol, attractive alternatives. It has been shown that automobiles can operate, with minor alterations, on a 10% ethanol-gasoline mixture popularly known as gasohol. Wood has long been known as a potential source of glucose. Glucose may be obtained from wood following acid hydrolysis. In this research, it was found that saturating wood particles with HCl gas under pressure was an effective pretreatment before subjecting the wood to dilute acid hydrolysis. The pretreatment is necessary because of the tight lattice structure of cellulose, which inhibits dilute acid hydrolysis. HCl gas makes the cellulose more susceptible to hydrolysis and the glucose yield is doubled when dilute acid hydrolysis is preceded by HCl saturation at high pressure. The saturation was most effectively performed in a fluidized bed reactor, with pure HCl gas fluidizing equal volumes of ground wood and inert particles. The fluidized bed effectively dissipated the large amount of heat released upon HCl absorption into the wood. Batch reaction times of one hour at 314.7 p.s.i.a. gave glucose yields of 80% and xylose yields of 95% after dilute acid hydrolysis. A non-catalytic gas-solid reaction model, with gas diffusing through the solid limiting the reaction rate, was found to describe the HCl-wood reaction in the fluidized bed. HCl was found to form a stable adduct with the lignin residue in the wood, in a ratio of 3.33 moles per mole of lignin monomer. This resulted in a loss of 0.1453 lb. of HCl per pound of wood. The adduct was broken upon the addition of water. A process design and economic evaluation for a plant to produce 214 tons per day of glucose from air-dried ground Populus tristi gave an estimated glucose cost of 15.14 cents per pound. This would correspond to $2.54 per gallon of ethanol if the glucose were fermented. Key factors contributing to the cost of glucose production were unrecovered HCl, which contributed 5.70 cents per pound of glucose, and the cost of wood, which at $25 per ton contribute 4.17 cents per pound.

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  • Report No.: LBL--14221
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 900623
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc889684

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • August 1, 1981

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Sept. 21, 2017, 3:51 p.m.

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Antonoplis, Robert Alexander; Blanch, Harvey W. & Wilke, Charles R. High pressure HC1 conversion of cellulose to glucose, thesis or dissertation, August 1, 1981; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc889684/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.