Chemical and morphological analysis associated to understand biomass fractionation
Monday, April 28, 2014
Exhibit/Poster Hall, lower level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Camila A. Rezende, Institute of Chemistry, University of Campinas, Campinas-SP, Brazil
In recent years, biorefining of lignocellulosic materials to produce multi-products such as ethanol and other biomaterials has become a dynamic research area. Biomass fractionation requires the use of pretreatment technologies, which may include chemical, physical and biological agents to overcome the resistant structure of the plant cell wall. Pretreatment steps are important to facilitate enzyme action and to improve the yields of fermentable sugars liberated by enzymatic hydrolysis. This work shows interesting examples of how it is possible to understand the action mechanism of some of these agents by using an strategic approach that combines chemical analysis to determine sample composition together with microscopy techniques to unveil the sample microstructure. Different kinds of cell walls, mainly from sugar cane bagasse, banana residues and eucalyptus bark had their composition and morphological features analyzed. The results call the attention for the importance of determining the spatial distribution of the cell wall components and not only their amount on the samples, and how this can influence the hydrolysis yield obtained from the pretreated samples.