Agricultural and herbaceous feedstocks may contain appreciable levels of sucrose. The goal of this study was to evaluate the survivability of sucrose and its hydrolysis products, fructose and glucose, during dilute sulfuric acid processing at conditions typically used to pretreat lignocellulose biomass. Solutions containing 25 g/l sucrose with 0.1-2.0% (w/w) sulfuric acid concentrations were treated at temperatures of 160-200 °C for 3-12 min. Sucrose was observed to completely hydrolyze at all treatment conditions. However, appreciable concentrations of fructose and glucose were detected and glucose was found to be significantly more stable than fructose. Different mathematical approaches were used to fit the kinetic parameters for acid-catalyzed thermal degradation of these sugars. Since both sugars may survive dilute acid pretreatment, they could provide an additional carbon source for production of ethanol and other bio-based products. © 2007.
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