Strategy to Utilize the High Ash Content Biomass Feedstock for Fermentable Sugars

Chen Huang, Caoxing Huang, Chenhuan Lai, Xinxing Wu, Yang Huang, Juan He, Xin Li, Qiang Yong


A prewashing step was used to remove ash from straw pulping solid residue (waste wheat straw, WWS) prior to pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. The effects of prewashing on the effectiveness of liquid hot water pretreatment (LHWP) and dilute acid pretreatment (DAP) were investigated. Prewashing effectively removed the ash in raw WWS. However, a certain amount of polysaccharides was also removed. The decreased pH of hydrolyzate after pretreatment suggested that both the prewashing and DAP could destroy the buffering effect of ash and thus improve the pretreatment efficiency. Consequently, the highest enzymatic hydrolysis yields of 79.4% and 76.1% could be obtained for LHWP and DAP, respectively. In addition, the LHWP resulted in the highest sugar recovery of 84.4% at 180 °C, and a sugar recovery of 86.8% was also reached by DAP at 160 °C. LHWP combined with prewashing strongly facilitated the enzymatic digestibility of WWS pretreated at 180 °C. However, for pretreatment at low temperature, DAP was more suitable.


Waste wheat straw; Prewashing; Liquid hot water pretreatment; Dilute acid pretreatment; Enzymatic hydrolysis yield

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