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Studies from Northwestern University Provide New Data on Sulfur Acids

February 19, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- New research on Sulfur Acids is the subject of a report. According to news reporting from Chicago, Illinois, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Dilute acid (sulfuric acid) pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass releases monomeric xylose, xylo-oligomers, and acetic acid by degradation of hemicellulose. Acids inhibit both the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose to monomeric sugars and downstream fermentation of sugars to biofuels."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Northwestern University, "Removal of acetic acid and sulfuric acid, as well as the nonionic toxic impurities, from the hydrolysate liquor prior to enzymatic hydrolysis may improve biofuel yields. Development of an efficient acid separation technique is essential for enhanced process performance and cost-effective biofuel production. We evaluated the use of an electrically driven membrane separation technique, resin wafer based electrodeionization (RW-EDI), for the removal of ionic impurities (acetic acid and sulfuric acid) from corn stover hydrolysate liquor. RW-EDI provides the capability to control solution pH in situ by voltage adjustment. In situ pH control enables pK(a)-selective recovery of acids (or bases). The results indicate that RW-EDI is capable of removing ionic impurities using fewer unit operations and less chemicals and water than the existing process using overliming as a conditioning step to dilute acid pretreatment of corn stover. We report greater than 99 and 95% removal of sulfuric and acetic acids, respectively, from dilute sulfuric acid pretreated corn stover hydrolysate liquor. Sugar retention was greater than 98%. We also report strategies to selectively separate sulfuric acid and acetic acid into two individual acid enriched streams from the hydrolysate liquor by manipulating the operating conditions."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "These results point toward a deployment strategy with sequential (mineral then organic) acid-removal steps."

For more information on this research see: Removal of Acidic Impurities from Corn Stover Hydrolysate Liquor by Resin Wafer Based Electrodeionization. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2013;52(38):13777-13784. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research can be contacted at: Amer Chemical Soc, 1155 16TH St, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. (American Chemical Society -; Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting S. Datta, Northwestern University, Master Biotechnol Program, Chicago, IL 60611, United States. Additional authors for this research include Y.P.J. Lin, D.J. Schell, C.S. Millard, S.F. Ahmad, M.P. Henry, P. Gillenwater, A.T. Fracaro, A. Moradia, Z.P. Gwarnicki and S.W. Snyder (see also Sulfur Acids).

Keywords for this news article include: Biotechnology, Energy, Chicago, Biofuel, Illinois, Chemicals, Chemistry, Oil and Gas, Acetic Acids, Sulfur Acids, United States, Acyclic Acids, Bioengineering, Sulfuric Acids, North and Central America

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Source: Biotech Week

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