Optimizing the saccharification of sugar cane bagasse using dilute phosphoric acid followed by fungal cellulases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A low level of phosphoric acid (1% w/w on dry bagasse basis, 160 degrees C and above, 10 min) was shown to effectively hydrolyze the hemicellulose in sugar cane bagasse into monomers with minimal side reactions and to serve as an effective pre-treatment for the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose. Up to 45% of the remaining water-insoluble solids (WIS) was digested to sugar monomers by a low concentration of Biocellulase W (0.5 filter paper unit/g WIS) supplemented with beta-glucosidase, although much higher levels of cellulase (100-fold) were required for complete hydrolysis. After neutralization and nutrient addition, phosphoric acid syrups of hemicellulose sugars were fermented by ethanologenic Escherichia coli LY160 without further purification. Fermentation of these syrups was preceded by a lag that increased with increased pre-treatment temperature. Further improvements in organisms and optimization of steam treatments may allow the co-fermentation of sugars derived from hemicellulose and cellulose, eliminating need for liquid-solid separation, sugar purification, and separate fermentations. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • C. C. Geddes
  • J. J. Peterson
  • Christian Roslander
  • Guido Zacchi
  • M. T. Mullinnix
  • K. T. Shanmugam
  • L. O. Ingram
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Chemical Engineering


  • Pre-treatment, Ethanol, Lignocellulose, Xylose
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851-1857
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch