(252f) Catalytic Hydrothermal Treatment (CHT) of Lignocellulosic Biomass
Value added co-products such as bioethanol and levulinic acid can be obtained from fermentation and catalytic hydrothermal treatment (CHT) of lignocellulosic biomass (LCB). However, the commercial value of bioethanol production is significantly lower due to the challenges in biomass pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation process. Hence to accommodate the return of investment, levulinic acid production can be more beneficial. In this study, lignin and hemicellulose were separated from hydrothermal pretreatment of corn stover at 170-190oC with 0.45% w/v K2CO3 in water. Following the pretreatment step, the cellulose rich biomass was converted into levulinic acid using CHT process at reaction temperatures of 150- 250â. The other by-products obtained from this CHT process were catalytically treated at 800-1000oC to obtain lignin, which could be used as electrode material for energy storage applications such as batteries and supercapacitors. The liquid hydrolysate obtained from the pretreatment process was found to be rich in C5 sugars and could be further treated via wet-oxidation. The product streams were characterized using HPLC, GC-MS and TOC. Details of the product yields and their characterization will be presented.