Pretreatment of biomass with dilute acid requires high temperatures of >160 °C to remove xylan and does not remove lignin. Here we report that the addition of peracetic acid, a strong oxidant, to mild dilute acid pretreatment reduces the temperature requirement to only 120 °C. Pretreatment of yellow poplar with peracetic acid (300 mM, 2.3 wt%) and dilute sulfuric acid (100 mM, 1.0 wt%) at 120 °C for 5 min removed 85.7% of the xylan and 90.4% of the lignin leaving a solid consisting of 75.6% glucan, 6.0% xylan and 4.7% lignin. Low enzyme loadings of 5 FPU/g glucan and 10 pNPGU/g glucan converted this solid to glucose with an 84.0% yield. This amount of glucose was 2.5 times higher than with dilute acid-pretreated solid and 13.8 times higher than with untreated yellow poplar. Thus, the addition of peracetic acid, easily generated from acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide, dramatically increases the effectiveness of dilute acid pretreatment of biomass.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) under the World Class University program (R322009000102130) and also by a NRF grant (2016937076 and 2016945295).
© 2017 The Author(s).