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wood/cellulose hydrolysis

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wood/cellulose hydrolysis

Postby manu de hanoi » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:19 am

I was all excited until I knew that 1 MPa =10 atm
http://www.google.com/patents/US8268126
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Re: wood/cellulose hydrolysis

Postby Sambedded » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:50 am

High acid concentration ( for example 87% solution of sulfuric acid) works at atmosfeic pressure and relatively low temperature. But you need then to separate acid from resulting shugar (not an simple process) or neutralize it (waste of acid)

And anyway that process create many nastiness and not drinkable. It's good for fuel synthetic rubber production etc.
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Re: wood/cellulose hydrolysis

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:56 pm

I looked down this road about 40 years ago, when I was living in Southern Oregon, where the woods were full of ancient piles of softwood sawdust, relics of abandoned sawmill, and I was a distiller. Dreams of cheap fuel danced in my head.

It was apparent right away that the existing industrial processes I found (mostly low pH and high temperature and pressure) weren't going to be practical for me, but there were rumors that someone had found a microbial soup, a mixture of unspecified micro-organisms that, between them and the enzymes produced, could complete the chemical pathway from hemicellulose to fermentable sugars. That started a lifelong interest in industrial microbiology.

It turns out the local community college had an expert in microbiology, so I took his class (nominally pathogenic microbiology for nurses, but he was slipping me the info I needed). I tried for years to isolate a hemi-to-sugar soup, but just never had any luck. I still think that enzymes, hopefully manufactured by some pet bug, would be the best solution.
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Re: wood/cellulose hydrolysis

Postby manu de hanoi » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:23 pm

if there was a bug in nature, trees would melt on their feet. Somehow dead wood decomposes but it's very slow. the difference between starch and cellulose is very small but that's enough for the usual enzymes not to work
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Re: wood/cellulose hydrolysis

Postby canuck » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:26 am

I don't know what kind of enzymes they use, but a forest products research company here in Canada is extracting fermentable sugars from wood. It's still in the prototype phase, but I've seen them boil the resulting soup just like maple syrup.
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