Dilute-acid hydrolysis for fermentation of the Bolivian straw material Paja Brava
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Hydrolysis of the straw material Paja Brava, a sturdy grass characteristic for the high plains of Bolivia, was studied in order to find suitable conditions for hydrolysis of the hemicellulose and cellulose parts. Dried Paja Brava material was pre-steamed, impregnated with dilute sulfuric acid (0.5% or 1.0% by wt), and subsequently hydrolyzed in a reactor at temperatures between 170 and 230 degreesC for a reaction time between 3 and 10 min. The highest yield of xylose (indicating efficient hydrolysis of hemicellulose) were found at a temperature of 190 degreesC, and a reaction time of 5-10 min, whereas considerably higher temperatures (230 degreesC) were needed for hydrolysis of cellulose. Fermentability of hemicellulose hydrolyzates was tested using the xylose-fermenting yeast species Pichia stipitis, Candida shehatae and Pachysolen tannophilus. The fermentability of hydrolyzates decreased strongly for hydrolyzates produced at temperatures higher than 200 degreesC. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.