Home >> News >> Research Progress

Mild Organosolv Pretreatment of Lignocellulose for Enhanced Sugar Production


Pretreatment is the basis to realize the bio-refining process of preparing fuel and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass, which determines the direction and efficiency of refining. Organic solvent pretreatment has become one of the hot spots in pretreatment research because of its high efficiency of component disassembly, high retention of decomposed cellulose components and high purity of recycled lignin components. Most existing acidic organic pretreatment systems rely on higher reaction temperature and/or acid concentration to completely remove lignin and hemicellulose components in one step.

In view of the above problems, Prof. ZHUANG Xinshu and her colleagues from the Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences (GIEC) adopted the strategy of modulating the solvent effect of organic system to promote the lignin dissolution of the system, and constructed a multi-solvent phase change system composed of phenoxyethanol -acetone-water (APW), and adopted a simple combined severity factor (CSF) to regulate the pretreatment process.

Under mild conditions (~120), a variety of lignocellulosic biomass can be effectively dismantled in one step (the lignin removal rate in bagasse, corn stalk, bamboo chips and pine sawdust is over 90%). The difference of enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency of samples with low lignin content (lignin < 4%) was also analyzed and studied. The correlation analysis of the difference of enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency of lignin samples with low lignin content shows that the specific surface area, the surface area of cellulose, CrI and LOI are main factors affecting enzymatic hydrolysis.

The APW pretreatment has good potential to be applied in industry as it can efficient fractionation lignocellulose, to realize the utilization of all components of biomass. 

This research was supported by the International Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Program of the National Key Research and Development Plan of China (2021YFE0114400), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51976221), and the Guangdong Basic and Applied Basic Research Foundation (2022A1515012078).

The paper was recently published online in Green Chemistry entitled “Mild organosolv pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse with acetone/phenoxyethanol/water for enhanced sugar production” (DOI://doi.org/10.1039/D2GC04404H). 


Efficient pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse with APW for enhanced sugar production. (Image by LI Wuhuan)



Dr. ZHUANG Xinshu

Bio-chemical Conversion Lab 

Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, CAS

2 Nengyuan Road, Wushan, Tianhe, Guangzhou 510640, China

Tel: 86-20-37029699  Fax: 86-20-37029687

E-mail: zhuangxs@ms.giec.ac.cn