Lime pretreatment has proven to be a useful method for selectively reducing the lignin content of lignocellulosic biomass without significant loss in carbohydrates, thus realizing an important increase in biodigestibility. In lime pretreatment, the biomass is pretreated with calcium hydroxide and water under different conditions of temperature and pressure. It can be accomplished in one of three fashions: (1) short-term pretreatment that lasts up to 6 h, requires temperatures of 100-160 degrees C, and can be applied with or without oxygen (pressure approximately 200 psig); (2) long-term pretreatment taking up to 8 weeks, requiring only 55-65 degrees C, and capable of running with or without air (atmospheric pressure); and (3) simple pretreatment requiring 1 h in boiling water, without air or oxygen. Nonoxidative conditions are effective at low lignin contents (below approximately 18% lignin), whereas oxidative conditions are required for high lignin contents (above approximately 18% lignin).
Sierra, R., Granda, C. B., & Holtzapple, M. T. (2009). Lime pretreatment. Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60761-214-8_9