Wheat straw autohydrolysis: Process optimization and products characterization

  • Carvalheiro F
  • Silva-Fernandes T
  • Duarte L
 et al. 
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Wheat straw was subjected to autohydrolysis treatments in order to selectively hydrolyze the hemicellulose fraction. The effects of temperature (150-240 degrees C) and non-isothermal reaction time on the composition of both liquid and solid phases were evaluated and interpreted using the severity factor (log R0). The operational conditions leading to the maximum recovery of hemicellulose-derived sugars were established for log R0 = 3.96 and correspond to 64% of the original (arabino)xylan with 80% of sugars as xylooligosaccharides. Under these conditions, a solubilization of 58% xylan, 83% arabinan, and 98% acetyl groups occurred. Glucan was mainly retained in the solid phase (maximum solubilization 16%), which enables an enrichment of the solid phase to contain up to 61% glucan. Delignification was not extensive, being utmost 15%. The yields of soluble products, including sugars, acetic acid, and degradation compounds, such as, furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural furfural obtained suggest the fitness of liquid stream for fermentation purposes or to obtain xylooligosaccharides with potential applications in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Autohydrolysis
  • Pre-treatment
  • Wheat straw
  • Xylooligosaccharides

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  • Florbela Carvalheiro

  • Talita Silva-Fernandes

  • Luís C. Duarte

  • Francisco M. Gírio

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