Biomass Hydrolysis into Sugars via Activated Carbon-Supported Sulfonic Acid

Praveen Kolar


An activated carbon-supported sulfonic acid catalyst was synthesized and employed as a hydrolysis agent for hydrolysis of model and real biomasses including cellulose, starch, cellobiose, and switchgrass.  Model biomasses including cellulose, starch, and cellobiose were hydrolyzed at 90 0C for 6 and 24 h while switchgrass was hydrolyzed at 75 and 90 0C for 6, 12, 18 and 24 h. For model biomasses, highest glucose was produced from cellobiose corresponding to 237. 1 ± 0.86 mg g-1 after 24 h, whereas switchgrass yielded a maximum glucose of 72.67 ± 1.03 mg g-1 after 18 h at  90 0C.   In addition, effects of physical (ultrasonication) and chemical (NaOH and H2SO4) treatments prior to hydrolysis of switchgrass were also studied. The data suggested that physical and chemical pretreatments did not significantly the hydrolysis efficacy of sulfonic acid catalysts. From the results obtained, it appears that sulfonic acid catalyst has the potential for direct hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass.



Activated carbon, sulfonic acid catalyst, hydrolysis, biomass, switchgrass, USA

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