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The Ammonium Bicarbonate Fiber Expansion (ABFX) Pretreatment Process

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

Citation:  Paper number  131620784,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Dennis A Burke
Keywords:   Pretreatment ammonia fiber explosion lignocellulose crystalline cellulose ABFX AFEX Anaerobic Digestion methane yields

Abstract. All plant material is composed of a tightly woven matrix of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin that is resistant to chemical or biological conversion to biofuel. Pretreatment is required to break down the plant structure and separate the poorly hydrolyzed lignin from the cellulose and hemicellulose for enzymatic conversion to alcohol, or in the case of anaerobic digestion to biogas. Although a wide variety of pretreatment technologies are available, most are complex or use toxic acidic or alkaline chemicals. All operate at high temperatures and pressures and as a result are expensive. A simple, inexpensive, and benign process is required to pretreat lignocellulosic biomass for the economical production of biofuel and the extraction of useful organic chemicals from biomass.

This paper presents the performance and economics of the ABFX process that can achieve the goal of simple, economical, and benign biomass pretreatment for bioenergy production. The research used grass silage and screened manure solids as the biomass substrate. The research was able to establish a conceptual model of the ABFX process and the relationship between the variables. The effects of pretreatment on the degradability of biomass and gas production were established.

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