Pre-treatment of biomasses using magnetised sulfonic acid catalysts

Submitted: 26 August 2016
Accepted: 23 December 2016
Published: 1 June 2017
Abstract Views: 1973
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There is a significant interest in employing solid acid catalysts for pre-treatment of biomasses for subsequent hydrolysis into sugars, because solid acid catalysts facilitate reusability, high activity, and easier separation. Hence the present research investigated pretreatment of four lignocellulosic biomasses, namely Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L ‘Alamo’), Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides), Miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus) and Triticale hay (Triticale hexaploide Lart.) at 90°C for 2 h using three carbon-supported sulfonic acid catalysts. The catalysts were synthesized via impregnating p-Toluenesulfonic acid on carbon (regular) and further impregnated with iron nitrate via two methods to obtain magnetic A and magnetic B catalysts. When tested as pre-treatment agents, a maximum total lignin reduction of 17.73±0.63% was observed for Triticale hay treated with magnetic A catalyst. Furthermore, maximum glucose yield after enzymatic hydrolysis was observed to be 203.47±5.09 mg g–1 (conversion of 65.07±1.63%) from Switchgrass treated with magnetic A catalyst. When reusability of magnetised catalysts were tested, it was observed that magnetic A catalyst was consistent for Gamagrass, Miscanthus × Giganteus and Triticale hay, while magnetic B catalyst was found to maintain consistent yield for switchgrass feedstock. Our results suggested that magnetised solid acid catalyst could pre-treat various biomass stocks and also can potentially reduce the use of harsh chemicals and make bioenergy processes environment friendly.

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Praveen Kolar, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Associate Professor-Agricultural Waste Management North Carolina State University Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Raleigh, NC 27695-7625, USA.

How to Cite

Ansanay, Y., Kolar, P., Sharma-Shivappa, R., Cheng, J., Park, S. and Arellano, C. (2017) “Pre-treatment of biomasses using magnetised sulfonic acid catalysts”, Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 48(2), pp. 117–122. doi: 10.4081/jae.2017.594.