(407f) Value Added Co-Product Lactic Acid Development From Lignocellulosic Biomass

Authors: 
Li, M., Auburn University
Tu, M., Auburn University



Producing biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass is not economically viable despite significant process has been made in biomass pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and microbial fermentation. Liquid fuel, especially ethanol, is a low value commodity product. As a result, using woody biomass to produce biofuels cost-effectively poses a great economic challenge.

Identifying value added co-products along with the production of biofuels is essential to the success of a viable biomass conversion process. Lignocellulosic biomass is primarily composed of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. The technical feasibility of producing biofuels (e.g. ethanol, butanol, hydrocarbon fuels) from cellulose, has been well demonstrated. However, converting biomass hemicelluloses to fuel in high yield remains a much greater challenge.

The objective of our research is to investigate potential and promising routes for converting biomass hemicelluloses to value added co-products such as lactic acid and acrylic acid. In this work, we studied the base-catalyzed reaction of glucose, mannose and xylose to lactic acid under various catalysts. In addition, the reaction kinetics were determined and compared.

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