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Kinetic study of dilute-acid prehydrolysis of xylan-containing biomass


With the current interest in chemicals production from biomas and in view of the emerging pulping processes, the hydrolysis of lignocellulosics is being considered as a promising industrial approach. Since hemicellulose is more readily hydrolyzed than cellulose, most processes include a prehydrolysis step to remove pentosans prior to the main hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose. However, the mechanism of solid-phase acid-catalyzed hydrolysis has not been elucidated and it is impossible to predict the extent of reaction a priori. Having the goal to design reactors, engineers need empirical rate equations. A series of kinetic data available in the literature have been compiled and different kinetic empirical models were analyzed in order to simulate the dilute-acid prehydrolysis of xylan-containing materials. The objective of this paper is to provide profiles of xylan removal and xylose production as a function of a few process variables such as: preheating time, heating rate, acid concentration, reaction temperature and reaction time. Moreover, the influence of biomass species as well as the type of reactor were studied to understand the different solubilization profiles obtained. Other variables such as biomass concentration and particle size were also analyzed. The cellulose dissolved during the prehydrolytic stage was calculated to determine the prehydrolysis selectivity.

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Thanks are due to the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for financial support

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Carrasco, F., Roy, C. Kinetic study of dilute-acid prehydrolysis of xylan-containing biomass. Wood Sci.Technol. 26, 189–208 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00224292

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  • Biomass
  • Cellulose
  • Xylose
  • Hemicellulose
  • Rate Equation