Addition of sodium borohydride to a lignocellulose hydrolysate of Norway spruce affected the fermentability when cellulosic ethanol was produced using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Treatment of the hydrolysate with borohydride improved the ethanol yield on consumed sugar from 0.09 to 0.31. g/g, the balanced ethanol yield from 0.02 to 0.30. g/g, and the ethanol productivity from 0.05 to 0.57. g/(L. ×. h). Treatment of a sugarcane bagasse hydrolysate gave similar results, and the experiments indicate that sodium borohydride is suitable for chemical in situ detoxification. The model inhibitors coniferyl aldehyde, p-benzoquinone, 2,6-dimethoxybenzoquinone, and furfural were efficiently reduced by treatment with sodium borohydride, even under mild reaction conditions (20. °C and pH 6.0). While addition of sodium dithionite to pretreatment liquid from spruce improved enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose, addition of sodium borohydride did not. This result indicates that the strong hydrophilicity resulting from sulfonation of inhibitors by dithionite treatment was particularly important for alleviating enzyme inhibition. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Cavka, A., & Jönsson, L. J. (2013). Detoxification of lignocellulosic hydrolysates using sodium borohydride. Bioresource Technology, 136, 368–376. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2013.03.014