Effects of copper (II) 2,2’ - bipyridine Catalyzed Alkaline Peroxide Pretreatment on Lignocellulosic Biomasses in the Ethanol Production Process
Adelman, Sara L.
MetadataShow full item record
Economic, political, and environmental conflicts caused by the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels call for the advancement of renewable fuel sources. Ethanol produced from lignocellulosic biomasses is a promising biofuel that avoids the food vs. fuel debate that has hindered ethanol production in the US in the past. Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass to increase enzymatic accessibility to cellulose has remained the most expensive step in the bioethanol production process. A viable pretreatment must have high solid-loading levels, result in significantly high glucan conversion levels, and not produce toxic byproducts. To test the efficacy of copper(II) 2,2’- bipyridine as a catalyst of alkaline hydrogen peroxide pretreatment on lignocellulosic biomasses, the pretreatment was used on five different hardwood tree species: silver birch, sugar maple, aspen, and two hybrid aspens. The glucan conversion after both pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis was compared between both the pretreatment conditions and biomass species. Eachbiomass underwent composition analysis in effort to elucidate reasons for variation between biomasses under identical pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis conditions. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide and pH were independently varied to observe their influence on the effectiveness of the CuII catalyst. All experiments showed no significant increase in glucan conversion in the catalyzed alkaline hydrogen peroxide from the uncatalyzed pretreatment. The biomass that consistently resulted in the highest glucan conversion after pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis was silver birch, achieving74.2%±1.9% glucan conversion.