IMPROVED BIOREFINERY FOR THE PRODUCTION OF ETHANOL, CHEMICALS, ANIMAL FEED AND BIOMATERIALS FROM SUGAR CANE
Description: The Audubon Sugar Institute (ASI) of Louisiana State University’s Agricultural Center (LSU AgCenter) and MBI International (MBI) sought to develop technologies that will lead to the development of a sugar-cane biorefinery, capable of supplying fuel ethanol from bagasse. Technology development focused on the conversion of bagasse, cane-leaf matter (CLM) and molasses into high value-added products that included ethanol, specialty chemicals, biomaterials and animal feed; i.e. a sugar cane-based biorefinery. The key to lignocellulosic biomass utilization is an economically feasible method (pretreatment) for separating the cellulose and the hemicellulose from the physical protection provided by lignin. An effective pretreatment disrupts physical barriers, cellulose crystallinity, and the association of lignin and hemicellulose with cellulose so that hydrolytic enzymes can access the biomass macrostructure (Teymouri et al. 2004, Laureano-Perez, 2005). We chose to focus on alkaline pretreatment methods for, and in particular, the Ammonia Fiber Expansion (AFEX) process owned by MBI. During the first two years of this program a laboratory process was established for the pretreatment of bagasse and CLM using the AFEX process. There was significant improvement of both rate and yield of glucose and xylose upon enzymatic hydrolysis of AFEX-treated bagasse and CLM compared with untreated material. Because of reactor size limitation, several other alkaline pretreatment methods were also co-investigated. They included, dilute ammonia, lime and hydroxy-hypochlorite treatments. Scale-up focused on using a dilute ammonia process as a substitute for AFEX, allowing development at a larger scale. The pretreatment of bagasse by an ammonia process, followed by saccharification and fermentation produced ethanol from bagasse. Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) allowed two operations in the same vessel. The addition of sugarcane molasses to the hydrolysate/fermentation process yielded improvements beyond what was expected solely from the addition of sugar. In order to expand the economic potential for building a biorefinery, the conversion ...
Date: January 29, 2009
Creator: Day, Dr. Donal F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department