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01-03-2016 | Original Article | Issue 1/2016

Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery 1/2016

Metabolic profile of mixed culture acidogenic fermentation of lignocellulosic residues and the effect of upstream substrate fractionation by steam explosion

Journal:
Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery > Issue 1/2016
Authors:
Anastasios Perimenis, Ingrid M. van Aarle, Thomas Nicolay, Nicolas Jacquet, Laurence Meyer, Aurore Richel, Patrick A. Gerin

Abstract

Lignocellulosic biomass residues have attracted attention for the sustainable production of molecules for material and energetic use through biochemical conversion. Their recalcitrant structure prevents a broader use and asks for the development of sustainable techniques that can efficiently separate, recover and valorize the constituting components. In a cascading concept, residual streams of such processes can be further exploited in an attempt to valorize the largest possible fraction of the initial material. Three lignocellulosic substrates, namely dried sugar beet pulp, wheat bran and miscanthus straw, were upstream fractionated by steam explosion to extract the hemicellulose fraction. This study evaluated the valorization of the residual solid fraction through mixed acidogenic fermentation for the production of volatile fatty acids (VFA) as platform chemicals. Batch experiments have been conducted for the reference material (non-treated) and the solid fraction remaining after steam explosion, with and without the addition of an external mixed inoculum. Steam explosion residues contained less hemicellulose than the initial materials. The difference in the fermentation profile between steam explosion residues and non-treated substrates is dependent on the substrate. Maximum total VFA (tVFA) concentration was 18.8 gCOD/kgmixed_liquor, and maximum yield of chemical oxygen demand (COD) conversion into tVFA was 33 % for the case of non-treated inoculated beet pulp.

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