Reactions, Vol. 3, Pages 30-46: Combination of Autohydrolysis and Catalytic Hydrolysis of Biomass for the Production of Hemicellulose Oligosaccharides and Sugars

Reactions doi: 10.3390/reactions3010003

Léa Vilcocq
Agnès Crepet
Patrick Jame
Florbela Carvalheiro
Luis C. Duarte

Three different types of biomass sourced from forestry waste (eucalyptus residues), agricultural waste (wheat straw), and energy crop (miscanthus) were used as starting materials to produce hemicellulosic sugars, furans (furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural), and oligosaccharides. A two-step hybrid process was implemented; biomass was first autohydrolysed without any additive to extract hemicelluloses and dissolve it in water. Then, the hydrolysate was treated with a solid acid catalyst, TiO2-WOx, in order to achieve hydrolysis and produce monomeric sugars and furans. This article investigates the role of the biomass type, autohydrolysis experimental conditions, polymerisation degree and composition of hemicelluloses on the performance of the process coupling autohydrolysis and catalytic hydrolysis. The highest global yields of both oligosaccharides and monomeric sugars were obtained from Eucalyptus (37% and 18%, respectively).

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