13-18: Monitoring real-time changes in rheology of cellulosic biomass during hydrolysis in a flow reactor

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Napoleon Ballroom C-D, 3rd fl (Sheraton New Orleans)
Emilio J. Tozzi1, David M. Lavenson1, Nardrapee Karuna2, Tina Jeoh2, Michael J. McCarthy2 and Robert L. Powell1, (1)Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, (2)Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
The hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass into sugars is a key step in bioprocesses that use microorganisms to produce chemicals or fuels. Succesful scale-up of hydrolysis for viscous high-solids cellulosic material requires reliable data on transport phenomena parameters such as rheological properties. We performed experiments of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic fibers in an 8 kg recycle flow reactor with continuous rheology monitoring using magnetic resonance flow imaging. The cellulosic fiber slurries had up to 16 % by weight initial solids loading, and exhibited large changes in yield stress as the hydrolysis progressed. The evolution of the slurry rheology was compared to rates of production of sugars, and changes in fiber shape. The results provide insights in the relation between fiber structure and transport properties during the early stages of hydrolysis.
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