Impact of fluid velocity on hot water only pretreatment of corn stover in a flowthrough reactor.

Applied biochemistry and biotechnology

PubMedID: 15054246

Liu C, Wyman CE. Impact of fluid velocity on hot water only pretreatment of corn stover in a flowthrough reactor. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2004;113-116977-87.
Flowthrough pretreatment with hot water only offers many promising features for advanced pretreatment of biomass, and a better understand- ing of the mechanisms responsible for flowthrough behavior could allow researchers to capitalize on key attributes while overcoming limitations. In this study, the effect of fluid velocity on the fate of total mass, hemicellulose, and lignin was evaluated for hot water only pretreatment of corn stover in tubular flowthrough reactors. Increasing fluid velocity significantly accelerated solubilization of total mass, hemicellulose, and lignin at early times. For example, when fluid velocity was increased from 2.8 to 10.7 cm/min, xylan removal increased from 60 to 82% for hot water only pretreatment of corn stover at 200 degrees C after 8 min. At the same time, lignin removal increased from 30 to 46%. Dissolved hemicellulose was almost all in oligomeric form, and solubilization of hemicellulose was always accompanied by lignin release. The increase in removal of xylan and lignin with velocity, especially in the early reaction stage, suggests that chemical reaction is not the only factor controlling hemicellulose hydrolysis and that mass transfer and other physical effects may also play an important role in hemicellulose and lignin degradation and removal.