The supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) pretreatment of lignocellulose for enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose was investigated. Aspen (hardwood) and southern yellow pine (softwood) with moisture contents in the range of 0-73% (w/w) were pretreated with SC-CO2 at 3100 and 4000 psi and at 112-165 °C for 10-60 min. Each pretreated lignocellulose was hydrolyzed with commercial cellulase to assess its enzymatic digestibility. Untreated aspen and southern yellow pine (SYP) gave final reducing sugar yields of 14.5±2.3 and 12.8±2.7% of theoretical maximum, respectively. When no moisture was present in lignocellulose to be pretreated, the final reducing sugar yield from hydrolysis of SC-CO2-pretreated lignocellulose was similar to that of untreated aspen. When the moisture content of lignocellulose was increased, particularly in aspen, significantly increased final sugar yields were obtained from enzymatic hydrolysis of SC-CO2-pretreated lignocellulose. When the moisture content of lignocellulose was 73% (w/w) before pretreatment, the sugar yields from the enzymatic hydrolysis of aspen and southern yellow pine pretreated with SC-CO2 at 3100 psi and 165 °C for 30 min were 84.7±2.6 and 27.3±3.8% of theoretical maximum, respectively. The SC-CO2 pretreatments of both aspen and SYP with moisture contents of 40, 57, and 73% (w/w) showed significantly higher final sugar yields compared to the thermal pretreatments without SC-CO2.
- Enzymatic hydrolysis
- Supercritical carbon dioxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal