Advances in Accelerating the Understanding Biomass Conversion Processes
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Exhibit/Poster Hall, lower level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Peter Bodsky, ThermoFisher Scientific, Sunnyvale, CA
Accelerated Solvent Extraction (ASE) is a rapid sample preparation technique that uses common organic solvents to extract solid or semi-solid samples.  Using ASE, pressurized solvents are heated at or above their boiling points.  The use of hot, pressurized solvents has many favorable extraction properties as compared to traditional extraction techniques such as Soxhlet or sonication.  For example, as temperature increases the solution viscosity is reduced, resulting in less resistance to mass transfer as analytes diffuse between solid and liquid phases.  It is well known that diffusion coefficients and analyte solubility increase with temperature.  The effect of reduced solution viscosity, higher analyte solubility, and increased diffusion accelerates the extraction process resulting in rapid, efficient sample preparation.  ASE has been applied to many different analytes and numerous matrices.  In general, ASE methods are complete in 15 to 25 minutes and consume 20 to 40 mL of solvent per extraction.  ASE is fully automated and results in less labor-intensive sample preparation processes.  ASE can be used for applications in environmental, polymer, food, life science, and now in the alternative fuels industry.  Determination of sugar content and availability is important for the processing of plant material for ethanol production that is used as a fuel alternative to petroleum sources. Often acidic pretreatment of these samples is required prior to the extraction and determination of sugar concentrations. This presentation will discuss the use of ASE along with the acidic pretreatment of samples in an effort to better understand and characterize biomass conversion processes.