Biomass & Bioenergy, Vol.71, 275-284, 2014
Production of fermentable sugars and polyhydroxybutyrate from hybrid poplar: Response surface model optimization of a hot-water pretreatment and subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis
In this study, the target was the generation of fermentable monosaccharides from hard-woods that can be converted into value-added chemicals, such as polyhydroxybutyrates (PHB). Poplar flour was subjected to a hot-water pretreatment. The pretreatment conditions were optimized using a response surface methodology (RSM) on a 2(3) full central composites design by varying temperature, reaction time and solid loading. The optimal pretreatment condition for producing sugars was 200 degrees C, 22 min and 20% solid loading. After pretreatment the solid residue was treated with a commercial cellulase/xylanase preparation and released sugars quantified. The total sugars yield was applied as response variable to the RSM. A maximum yield of 96% sugars was obtained. Potential fermentation inhibitors were also detected at low concentrations (acetic acid, furfural, hydroxymethylfurfural). A preliminary trial using wood hydrolysates in a fed-batch bioreactor using a mixed microbial consortia afforded PHB (14% on biomass basis) and maximum PHB productivity of 0.18 g/L/h. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.