Nitrogen adsorption analysis of wood saccharification residues

Han Seung Yang, William Tai Yin Tze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to examine changes in the porosity and internal structure of wood as it goes through the process of saccharification (extraction of fermentable sugars). This study also examined the use of different drying methods to prepare samples for characterization of internal pores, with particular emphasis on the partially disrupted cell wall. Aspen wood flour samples after dilute acid pretreatment followed by enzymatic hydrolysis were examined for nitrogen adsorption. The resulting isotherms were analyzed for surface area, pore size distribution, and total pore volume. Results showed that freeze drying (with sample pre-freezing) maintains the cell wall structure, allowing for examination of saccharification effects. Acid pretreatment (hemicellulose removal) doubled the surface area and tripled the total volume of pores, which were mostly 10-20 nm wide. Subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis (cellulose removal) caused a 5-fold increase in the surface area and a ∼ 11-fold increase in the total volume of pores, which ranged from 5 to 100 nm in width. These results indicate that nitrogen adsorption analysis is a feasible technique to examine the internal pore structure of lignocellulosic residues after saccharification. The information on the pore structure will be useful when considering value-adding options for utilizing the solid waste for biofuel production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-242
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Korean Wood Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • Dilute acid pretreatment
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis
  • Internal structure
  • Nitrogen adsorption
  • Porosity


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