Reaction Kinetics of Concentrated-Acid Hydrolysis for Cellulose and Hemicellulose and Effect of Crystallinity

Pakkapol Kanchanalai, Gaurav Temani, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Matthew J. Realff


Batch experiments for the hydrolysis of xylan and pure cellulose (Avicel) hydrolysis and the decomposition of xylose and glucose were performed at varying sulfuric acid concentrations in the range of 10 to 50 wt.% and varying temperatures in the range of 80 to 100 °C. Increasing the temperature and acid concentration hastened the hydrolysis and the sugar decomposition rates. The hydrolysis rate of Avicel was much slower than that of xylan because of its crystallinity. The kinetic parameters for the concentrated acid hydrolysis reaction were estimated for both glucose and xylose reaction paths. The effect of initial cellulose crystallinity on the acid hydrolysis rate was also investigated, such that the cellulose was treated with various concentrations of phosphoric acid. A dramatic reduction in the cellulose crystalline index was observed when the phosphoric acid concentration was in a narrow range around 80 wt.%. It was found that the hydrolysis rate significantly increased with the decrease in initial cellulose crystalline index.


Cellulose; Hemicellulose; Concentrated acid hydrolysis; Reaction kinetics; Crystallinity

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