Department

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Description

A preliminary process design has b een conducted for a facility for biochemical conversion of poplar hardwood to hexose (C6) and pentose (C5) sugars via enzymatic hydrolysis. This facility is in contrast to conventional plants, which use corn stover as the primary feedstock. The three prim ary process sections are (1) dilute - acid pretreatment, (2) saccharification, and (3) ethanol precipitation and sugar separation. The design was based on existing pilot plants including Zeachem and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) facilities. Th e dilute - acid pretreatment section utilizes sulfuric acid as a catalyst to break down the woodchips entering the system. This acid is then neutralized with lime and the solution is sent to the saccharification section. This section uses magnetic nanopart icle immobilized cellulase enzymes to break down the complex sugars into the desired hexose and pentose sugars. Once the enzymes are collected and the extra solids are removed and recycled, ethanol precipitates out the pentose sugars. A scaled economic a nalysis including feed, product, and capital costs, with a twenty - year cash flow, indicates a profitable process.

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Hydrolysis of Poplar for Cellulosic Ethanol Production

A preliminary process design has b een conducted for a facility for biochemical conversion of poplar hardwood to hexose (C6) and pentose (C5) sugars via enzymatic hydrolysis. This facility is in contrast to conventional plants, which use corn stover as the primary feedstock. The three prim ary process sections are (1) dilute - acid pretreatment, (2) saccharification, and (3) ethanol precipitation and sugar separation. The design was based on existing pilot plants including Zeachem and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) facilities. Th e dilute - acid pretreatment section utilizes sulfuric acid as a catalyst to break down the woodchips entering the system. This acid is then neutralized with lime and the solution is sent to the saccharification section. This section uses magnetic nanopart icle immobilized cellulase enzymes to break down the complex sugars into the desired hexose and pentose sugars. Once the enzymes are collected and the extra solids are removed and recycled, ethanol precipitates out the pentose sugars. A scaled economic a nalysis including feed, product, and capital costs, with a twenty - year cash flow, indicates a profitable process.