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An efficient way to make fermentable sugars from fibrous waste

By Tetsuo Satoh |

The National Food Research Institute (NFRI) of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO; Tsukuba City, Japan; www.naro.affrc.go.jp) has developed an enzymatic pretreatment process for producing highly concentrated sugar solution from fibrous materials containing rice straw and starch. The process can be used for producing specific sugar solutions, depending on the local raw materials, such as discharged residue from the food factories. The researchers have modified the so-called CaCCO process [(calcium capturing by carbonation (CO2)] process — developed by Park and colleagues in 2010 to handle herbaceous lignocellulosics — in order to recover fermentable sugars from rice straw (RS) and stems and leaves of Erianthus arundinaceus (ER), one of the strategic energy crops in Japan. In the process, a mixture of feedstock, water and Ca(OH)2, (relative weight ratios of 3:7:0.3) is continuously milled under relatively mild temperatures of 95–100°C. Enzymatic-saccharification tests were performed for the pretreatment slurries from 10 kg feedstocks for 72 h at 40°C under a pressurized CO2 atmosphere of 0.9 MPa. Using high-solid loadings of 28.4% (w/w) for RS and 27.8% (w/w) for ER, the researchers…
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