Bioresource Technology, Vol.254, 353-356, 2018
Mild and efficient extraction of hardwood hemicellulose using recyclable formic acid/water binary solvent
Formic acid/water binary solvent extraction with formic acid fraction lower than 77.5% (w/w) of azeotrope was used to extract hemicellulose-derived saccharides from poplar wood at various levels of severity. The highest xylose yield of 77.8% and arabinose yield of 93.5% were obtained at 120 degrees C and 1 h. To reduce cellulose hydrolysis and facilitate downstream xylose crystallization, mild conditions at 90 degrees C and 4 h was chosen as optimum severity, which led to the highest xylose fraction of 81.7% in all saccharides extracted, with a remarkable xylose yield of 73.1%. Mass balance analysis showed that 5.84% of xylan was degraded, but only 0.25% of xylan ended up as furfural at optimum severity. The proposed extraction process has high feasibility for industrial application since the low formic acid fraction in solvent allows simple recovery and concentration of used solvent.