Predicted effects of mineral neutralization and bisulfate formation on hydrogen ion concentration for dilute sulfuric acid pretreatment.

Applied biochemistry and biotechnology

PubMedID: 15054249

Lloyd TA, Wyman CE. Predicted effects of mineral neutralization and bisulfate formation on hydrogen ion concentration for dilute sulfuric acid pretreatment. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2004;113-1161013-22.
Dilute acid and water-only hemicellulose hydrolysis are being examined as part of a multiinstitutional cooperative effort to evaluate the performance of leading cellulosic biomass pretreatment technologies on a common basis. Cellulosic biomass, such as agricultural residues and forest wastes, can have a significant mineral content. It has been shown that these minerals neutralize some of the acid during dilute acid pretreatment, reducing its effectiveness, and the higher solids loadings desired to minimize costs will require increased acid use to compensate. However, for sulfuric acid in particular, an equilibrium shift to formation of bisulfate during neutralization can further reduce hydrogen ion concentrations and compound the effect of neutralization. Because the equilibrium shift has a more pronounced effect at lower acid concentrations, additional acid is needed to compensate. Coupled with the effect of temperature on acid dissociation, these effects increase acid requirements to achieve a particular reaction rate unless minerals are removed prior to hydrolysis.