1. School of Life Sciences and Technology, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Ganesha 10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia.
2. Department of Chemistry, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.
The process of converting lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol involves pretreatment to disrupt the complex of lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose, freeing cellulose and hemicellulose for enzymatic saccharification and fermentation. Determining optimal pretreatment techniques for fermentation is essential for the success of lignocellulosic energy production process. The purpose of this study was to evaluate energy cane for lignocellulosic ethanol production. Various pretreatment processes for energy cane variety L 79-1002 (type II) were evaluated including different concentrations of dilute acid hydrolysis and solid-state fungal pretreatment process using brown rot and white rot fungi. Pretreated biomass was enzymatically saccharified and fermented using a recombinant Escherichia coli. The results revealed that all pretreatment processes that were subjected to enzymatic saccharification and fermentation produced ethanol. However, the best result was observed in dilute acid hydrolysis of 3% sulfuric acid. Combination of fungal pretreatment with dilute acid hydrolysis reduced the acid requirement from 3% to 1% and this combined process could be more economical in a large-scale production system.
Keywords: Dilute acid hydrolysis, energy cane, cellulose, hemicelluose, lignin, ethanol, fermentation