Extraction, recovery, and characterization of hardwood and grass hemicelluloses for integration into biorefining processes

Ryan J. Stoklosa, David B. Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

For this work, four hardwoods (silver birch, sugar maple, a hybrid poplar, and a hybrid aspen) and one cultivar of switchgrass were treated with increasing levels of NaOH. The recovered cell wall biopolymers were characterized based on total extraction, precipitation using ethanol or acidification, xylan content, and molar mass of the recovered precipitates. The extractability of cell wall polymers was clearly shown to be a function of the biomass type with more than 50% of the cell walls of switchgrass solubilized by alkali while only up to 20% of the maple was solubilized under comparable conditions. Precipitation with ethanol resulted in high recovery yields of hemicelluloses from the original biomass for silver birch and switchgrass, and most notably, the birch precipitates contained double the hemicellulose content of the precipitates from other feedstock alkali extracts (80% versus 30-50%). The molar masses of the recovered hemicellulosic polysaccharides were characterized using size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and an assay to quantify polysaccharide reducing ends. SEC analysis showed that the biopolymers exhibited a strong tendency to self-associate during elution and that this aggregation could be eliminated through sonication. The reducing end method showed an increase in the number-average degree of polymerization toward an asymptotic maximum with increasing extraction pH, and this value was significantly increased by bleaching the precipitate to remove interference by nonpolysaccharides.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages11045-11053
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Volume51
Issue number34
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 29 2012

Profile

Hardwoods
Precipitates
Recovery
Biopolymers
Size exclusion chromatography
Molar mass
Cells
Alkalies
Polysaccharides
Silver
Biomass
Ethanol
Xylans
Sonication
Acidification
Bleaching
Sugars
Feedstocks
Assays
Polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this

Extraction, recovery, and characterization of hardwood and grass hemicelluloses for integration into biorefining processes. / Stoklosa, Ryan J.; Hodge, David B.

In: Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol. 51, No. 34, 29.08.2012, p. 11045-11053.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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