This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Production of Bioethanol and Furan Derivatives from Softwood Hemicellulose




Wei, Liang

Type of Degree



Forestry and Wildlife Sciences


Woody biomass provides a great potential for the biofuels production in the United States. Hemicellulose accounts for 20-30% of dried woody biomass, which can be readily broken down to simple sugars (primarily xylose and mannose). It is important for us to develop value added chemicals from hemicelluloses. In this study, we have extracted the hemicelluloses sugars from the pine wood. The prehydrolysate was from the acid pretreatment, which contains sugars and fermentation inhibitors; it was directly examined for the productivity of furan production under hydrothermal condition. The second hydrolysis was then applied and the fermentation was also tested for the inhibition level of the hemicellulose sugars. After that, two groups of detoxification methods were applied to the prehydrolysate. The sugars and toxic compounds were compared before and after fermentation, the detoxified prehydrolysate was tested in 48 hours fermentation, the level of toxic compounds and sugar content were monitored and compared. The results showed that the original control group from the prehydrolysate can hardly be fermented. The chemical methods showed advantages for the higher preservation of sugars, the ion resins and activated charcoal methods showed benefits for removing of more inhibitors and higher fermentation rate.