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Effect of Ripeness and Drying Process on Sugar and Ethanol Production from Giant Reed (Arundo donax L.)

ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Rotondella (MT) 75026, Italy

The work highlighted the influence of the water content within the starting biomass, drying procedure and ripeness on the enzymatic digestibility of the giant reed, one of the most suitable nonfood crops for bioenergy and bio-compound production. Fresh green reed was treated as received, while oven-dried green and ripe reed were humidified before the steam explosion pretreatment that was carried out at 210 ℃ for 10 minutes. The exploded biomasses were extracted with water to remove the soluble hemicellulose and potential inhibitors; the insoluble residue was submitted to enzymatic hydrolysis and alcoholic fermentation. The process was evaluated in terms of sugars recovery and ethanol yield. After the sequence of pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae 132 g; 103 g; 162 g of ethanol; and 77 g; 63 g; 92 g of pentosanes were respectively obtained from 1 kgDM of fresh green reed; dried green reed or ripe reed. The ripe reed contains more carbohydrates than the green reed and the resulting sugar and ethanol production was higher, in spite of lower saccharification yield. While drying the fresh biomass is good practice for biomass preservation, it negatively affects the recovery of free sugars and the ethanol production, because of fiber hornification which hinders enzyme access in the hydrolysis step.
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Copyright Info: © 2015, Francesco Zimbardi, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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