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Optimization of Ethanol Production From Microfluidized Wheat Straw by Response Surface Methodology

Turhan, Ozge
Isci, Asli
Mert, Behiç
Sakiyan, Ozge
Donmez, Sedat
In this study, wheat straw was pretreated with a microfluidizer to improve its enzymatic hydrolysis and ethanol yields. The pretreatment was performed at various pressures (500, 1000, and 1500bar) and solid loadings (1, 2, and 3%). The microfluidized biomass was then subjected to hydrolysis and simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation (SSCF) experiments at different enzyme loadings (5, 10, and 15 FPU/g dry wheat straw) using a mutant yeast. The results indicated that the microfluidization method alters the structure of biomass and leads to a reduction in lignin content. The samples pretreated at 1% solid loading contained the minimum lignin concentration and provided the maximum sugar and ethanol yields. These results signified that the microfluidization method is more effective on biomass at low solid loadings. The process conditions were optimized for higher ethanol and sugar yields using response surface methodology (RSM). The optimum pressure and solid and enzyme loadings were found as 1500bar, 1%, and 15 FPU/g dry wheat straw, respectively. The yields obtained at this condition were 82%, 94%, and 65% for glucose, xylose, and ethanol, respectively. High sugar yields implied that microfluidization is an effective pretreatment method for cellulosic ethanol production. On the other hand, low ethanol yield may indicate that the microorganism was sensitive to inhibitory compounds present in the fermentation medium.