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Characterization of Fermentation Residues from the Production of Bio-Ethanol from Lignocellulosic Feedstocks

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Solid residues from the conversion of four lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks, Miscanthus, Switchgrass, hybrid poplar and red maple, to bioethanol in a pilot plant have been characterized for their lignin and carbohydrate content, heating value, ash content and inorganic elements profile. These residues have also been analyzed with solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy to understand their bulk chemical composition. The hemicellulose contents of residues from all four feedstocks are significantly lower than the untreated biomass, indicating utilization or degradation during the steam autohydrolysis pretreatment and bioconversion. Residues from red maple show the highest lignin content and heating value. All the residues have high ash content which includes very high proportions of Ca, P, K and S. The presence of these elements in these biofuel residues may challenge their use for combustion and will need to be addressed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2011

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  • The goal of the creation of a biobased economy is challenging to agriculture, forestry, academia, government and industry. The extractable resources of the Earth are finite, regardless of the quibble over when they will be depleted. The economic, political and social demands for biobased chemicals, materials and energy are expected to radically transform the materials industries, particularly the plastics industry as well as the biofuel industry. These changes will be based on the principles of sustainability, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology, and green chemistry and engineering. In keeping with the growth of knowledge in this field, there is a strong need for a forum to share original research related to biobased materials and bioenergy. The Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy (JBMB) has been created as an international peer-reviewed periodical to fulfill the need for communication in these research areas. This journal will encompass related research activities in all fields of science, engineering and the life sciences.
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