Two new scientific articles published in the quest for upgrading sugar streams, project 3.

The article “Surface properties correlate to the digestibility of hydrothermally pretreated lignocellulosic Poaceae biomass feedstocks” is published in Biotechnology for Biofuels. The aim of this study was to obtain improved knowledge of how the chemistry, physics, and enzymatic digestibility of industrially relevant Poaceae biomass feedstocks respond to different hydrothermal pretreatment severities and notably to attempt to identify factors that correlate with the recalcitrance of a biomass with a given composition. The study revealed that to a large extent, factors related to physico-chemical surface properties, namely surface wettability and surface content of hemicellulose, lignin, and wax correlated to the recalcitrance of the tested biomass types – rather than bulk biomass chemical composition. The data provides new insight into how pretreatment severity affects surface properties of key Poaceae lignocellulosic biomass and may help design new approaches to overcome biomass recalcitrance.

Read the article here, published in Biotechnology for Biofuels, 2017.

The article “Impact of the fouling mechanism on enzymatic depolymerisation of xylan in different configurations of membrane reactors” is published in Separation and Purification Technology, Volume 178. The study is about how to maximize enzymatic xylan depolymerisation while simultaneously purifying the resulting monosaccharide (xylose), through different ultrafiltration (UF) membrane reactor configurations. Two hydrolytic enzymes were used (endo-1,4-β-xylanase and β-xylosidase) and reaction with both enzymes followed by UF was found to be the optimal configuration, providing at least 40% higher xylan hydrolysis. As a result of the study, it has been confirmed that the reactor configuration has a crucial impact on the performance of both the reaction and the separation process of xylose during enzymatic xylan degradation, and that the type of fouling mechanism varies in response to the type of enzyme treatment.

Read the article here, published in Separation and Purification Technology, 2017.