Comparative Study on the Yield and Characterization of Hemicelluloses Isolated with Hydrothermal Extract and Catalyzed by Acetic Acid from Acacia Wood

Mimi Yuan, Haiqiang Shi, Yanning Sun, Maihong Niu, Qingwei Ping


To utilize hemicelluloses from biomass as a feedstock to produce various value-added products, the soluble hemicelluloses must be isolated from the liquid phase with a high yield and purity. In this study, acacia wood was extracted by hydrothermal treatment, catalyzed by acetic acid at 170 °C for different lengths of time, and then precipitated after concentration and mixing with ethanol. Acetic acid led to faster hydrolysis of hemicelluloses, a process that was confirmed by a larger amount of total saccharides than the controlled results. A yield of more than 90% oligosaccharides was achieved in the hydrolysate with 1% (w/w) acetic acid. The maximum precipitate yield obtained was reduced, but a faster increase was observed in the first 30 min at 170 °C depending on the utilization of acetic acid. Analysis of 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (13C NMR) confirmed that the side chains, such as arabinose linked on the xylan chain, were severely broken down, and more dissolved hemicelluloses bonded with lignin (LCC) were present in the precipitates with 1% (w/w) acetic acid. Based on gel permeation chromatography (GPC), a molecular weight of not less than 1900 is suggested when ethanol is used to precipitate the oligosaccharides from hydrolysate.


Hydrothermal; Pre-extraction; Hemicelluloses isolation; Acacia; Acetic acid

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