AbstractAlternate energy resources need to be developed to amend for depleting fossil fuel reserves. Lignocellulosic biomass is a globally available renewable feedstock that contains a rich sugar platform that can be converted into bioethanol through appropriate processing. The key steps of the process, pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation, have undergone considerable amount of research and development over the past decades nearing the process to commercialization. In order for the commercialization to be successful, the process needs to be operated at high dry matter content of biomass, especially in the enzymatic hydrolysis stage that influences ethanol concentration in the final fermentation broth. Biomass becomes a thick paste with challenging rheology for mixing to be effective. As the biomass consistency increases, yield stress increases which limits efficiency of mixing with conventional stirred tanks. The purpose of this review is to provide features and perspectives on processing of biomass into ethanol. Emphasis is placed on rheology and mixing of biomass in the enzymatic hydrolysis step as one of the forefront issues in the field.
Green Processing and Synthesis – de Gruyter
Published: Feb 1, 2017