(406a) Development of Comprehensive Models to Predict the Processability of Miscanthus in Biological Conversion

Wyman, C. E., University of California, Riverside
Yang, B., University of California Riverside
Zhang, J., Mendel Biotechnology Inc.

Miscanthus, which features with high productivity and high carbohydrate content, has great potential as an energy crop to support large scale production of fuels. Improving our understanding of characterizations of this prolific crop that control enzymatic hydrolysis and how pretreatment alters these characterizations would be a significant step to identify better strategies and opportunities to genetically alter the susceptibility of biomass to deconstruction and achieve very high total sugar yields at low costs. In this study, a high throughput (HTP) tool integrating pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis in the same multi-well batch reaction system was employed for screening 80 different Miscanthus species to identify those with lower recalcitrance for sugar release. Then the detailed deconstruction profiles of hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, and other subcomponents were provided by flowthrough pretreatment at various combinations of time, acid concentration, flow rate, and temperature followed by enzymatic hydrolysis of the pretreated solids. Models were developed based on resulting data to more fully understand key factors to achieve high total sugar yields, and predict the coupled thermochemical and biological deconstruction of Miscanthus, and apply the results to develop much lower cost plant/process combinations.