(482a) Rapid and Low Temperature (< 80 °C) Hydrotrope Chemistry for Economic and Sustainable Production of Sugar/Biofuels, and Lignocellulosic Nanomaterials

Authors: 
Zhu, J. Y., USDA Forest Service
Here we report a rapid and low temperature (≤ 80°C) wood fractionation process for producing wood pulp, cellulose and lignin nanomaterials, and sugar/biofuels. Approximately 90% of wood lignin can be dissolved at 80°C for 20 min. Equivalent delignification using alkaline pulping can be achieved only at 170°C for 2 h. The novel process fractionated wood into two fractions: (1) a primarily carbohydrate-rich water-insoluble solid fraction that can be used for sustainable production of fibers such as dissolving pulp, lignocellulosic nanomaterials, and/or sugars through subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis, and (2) a spent acid liquor stream containing mainly dissolved lignin that can be easily precipitated as lignin nanoparticles simply by diluting the spent acid liquor. The dissolved hemicellulose sugars can be used to produce furfural after lignin precipitation. The chemical used has a low water solubility, which facilitates efficient recovery simply using commercially proven crystallization technology by cooling concentrated spent acid solution to ambient temperatures to achieve environmental sustainability.