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Diluted Sulfuric Acid Pretreatment and Cellulosic Conversion of Photoperiod-Sensitive Sorghum

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008872.(doi:10.13031/2013.29744)
Authors:   Feng Xu, Yong-Cheng Shi, Donghai Wang
Keywords:   Photoperiod Sensitive Sorghum, Acid Pretreatment, Enzyme Hydrolysis, Ethanol

Conversion of cellulosic biomass such as agricultural residues to biofuels offers significant economic, environmental and strategic benefits. Photoperiod-sensitive (PS) sorghum is a tropical grass grown primarily in semiarid parts of the world, especially in areas too dry for corn. PS sorghum produces more than twice as much the dry mass per acre as corn, which makes PS sorghum biomass an excellent source of feedstock for cellulosic biofuel production, and PS Sorghum varieties with reduced lignin content have also been developed through mutation breeding, which is attractive for biofuel production. The objective of this research was to study the potential of PS sorghum for biofuel production. We studied the relationship among composition, microstructure, physical and chemical properties, conversion efficiency of PS sorghum, and the effects of acid concentration on sugar yields. Structure analysis technologies including scanning electron microscopy and X-ray, were used to understand structural changes during pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis.

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