Preliminary optimization of alkaline pretreatment for ethanol production from vineyard pruning

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Vineyard pruning is a potential lignocellulosic feedstock for bioethanol production from agricultural woody residues, due to its high sugar content and ready availability in whole Europe. Ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass requires a pretreatment step and then enzymatic hydrolysis process to release sugars for fermentation to ethanol. In this work, alkaline pretreatment with NaOH on vineyard residues was investigated on laboratory scale. The raw material was firstly characterized in order to determine cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin content, using the standard laboratory analytical procedures for biomass analysis provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Then, based on Response Surface Methodology tool (RSM), a Box-Behnken model was chosen to define a design of experiments (DoE) in terms of the three independent variables that influence the process: the NaOH concentration, the reaction time and the temperature of the pretreatment process. According to the design, 15 samples of raw material were submitted to alkaline pretreatment and subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis and the glucose yield from whole process was calculated. The statistical optimization was carried out with Minitab 17 software, in order to determine the best operative pretreatment condition by maximizing the glucose yield from enzymatic hydrolysis. Results show that the best glucose yield was obtained at the highest sodium hydroxide concentration and temperature of the reaction; this condition allowed to achieve very significant glucose yield thanks to lignin removal performed with the pretreatment.




Cotana, F., Barbanera, M., Foschini, D., Lascaro, E., & Buratti, C. (2015). Preliminary optimization of alkaline pretreatment for ethanol production from vineyard pruning. In Energy Procedia (Vol. 82, pp. 389–394). Elsevier Ltd.

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