Effect of mixing on enzymatic hydrolysis of steam-pretreated spruce: a quantitative analysis of conversion and power consumption
Forskningsoutput: Tidskriftsbidrag › Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Background: When scaling up lignocellulose-based ethanol production, the desire to increase the final ethanol titer after fermentation can introduce problems. A high concentration of water-insoluble solids (WIS) is needed in the enzymatic hydrolysis step, resulting in increased viscosity, which can cause mass and heat transfer problems because of poor mixing of the material. In the present study, the effects of mixing on the enzymatic hydrolysis of steam-pretreated spruce were investigated using a stirred tank reactor operated with different impeller speeds and enzyme loadings. In addition, the results were related to the power input needed to operate the impeller at different speeds, taking into account the changes in rheology throughout the process. Results: A marked difference in hydrolysis rate at different impeller speeds was found. For example, the conversion was twice as high after 48 hours at 500 rpm compared with 25 rpm. This difference remained throughout the 96 hours of hydrolysis. Substantial amounts of energy were required to achieve only minor increases in conversion during the later stages of the process. Conclusions: Impeller speed strongly affected both the hydrolysis rate of the pretreated spruce and needed power input. Similar conversions could be obtained at different energy input by altering the mixing (that is, energy input), enzyme load and residence time, an important issue to consider when designing large-scale plants.