AIMS Bioengineering, 2016, 3(3): 389-399. doi: 10.3934/bioeng.2016.3.389

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Switchgrass storage effects on the recovery of carbohydrates after liquid hot water pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis

1 Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA
2 Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA
3 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 218 L.W. Chase Hall, P.O. Box 830726, Lincoln, NE 68583-0726 USA

Perennial grasses that would be used for bioenergy and bioproducts production will need to be stored for various periods of time to ensure a continual feedstock supply to a bioprocessing facility. The effects of storage practices on grass composition and the response of grasses to subsequent bioprocesses such as pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis needs to be understood to develop the most efficient storage protocols. This study examined the effect of outdoor storage of round switchgrass bales on composition before and after liquid hot water pretreatment (LHW) and enzymatic hydrolysis. This study also examined the effect of washing LHW pretreated biomass prior to enzymatic hydrolysis. It was determined that switchgrass composition after baling was stable. As expected, glucan and lignin contents increased after LHW due to decreases in xylan and galactan. Washing biomass prior to enzymatic hydrolysis reduced saccharification, especially in samples from the interior of the bale, by at least 5%.
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