This paper describes the organosolv delignification of depithed bagasse using glycerol-water mixtures without a catalyst. The experiments were performed using two separate experimental designs. In the first experiment, two temperatures (150 and 190 °C), two time periods (60 and 240. min) and two glycerol contents (20% and 80%, v/v) were used. In the second experiment, which was a central composite design, the glycerol content was maintained at 80%, and a range of temperatures (141.7-198.3 °C) and time (23-277. min) was used. The best result, obtained with a glycerol content of 80%, a reaction time of 150. min and a temperature of 198.3 °C, produced pulps with 54.4% pulp yield, 7.75% residual lignin, 81.4% delignification and 13.7% polyose content. The results showed that high contents of glycerol tend to produce pulps with higher delignification and higher polyoses content in relation to the pulps obtained from low glycerol content reactions. In addition, the proposed method shows potential as a pretreatment for cellulose saccharification. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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