Comparative Reaction Kinetics of Acid Hydrolysis of Plant Biomass and Algae Biomass

Sustainable Engineering Forum
2011 AIChE Annual Meeting
AIChE Annual Meeting
October 17, 2011 - 8:00pm

The current vision of biomass (e.g. plant, algae) conversion technologies is focused on developing the reactive intermediates platform for biofuels and chemicals production. A key challenge in using biomass as a renewable resource is its incredibly diverse polymeric structure. Sugars, furfural, HMF, levulinic acid, and formic acid are potential platforms for liquid fuels and chemicals production and can be produced from degradation of carbohydrates in biomass. In this study, release patterns of sugars (monomers and oligomers), furfural, HMF, levulinic acid, and formic acid from Switchgrass, Macroalgae and Microalgal carbohydrates were comparatively investigated through series of experiments over a range of temperatures of 120°C - 220°C, acid concentrations of 0-10% (wt/wt), substrate concentrations of 5-15wt.%, and residence times of 5 - 120 min. These observations are contrary to the first order kinetic models that are often applied to describe carbohydrates degradation reactions.
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