16. Progress in the Summative Analysis of Biomass Feedstocks for Biofuels Production

  1. Charles E. Wyman3,4
  1. Foster A. Agblevor1 and
  2. Junia Pereira2

Published Online: 5 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470975831.ch16

Aqueous Pretreatment of Plant Biomass for Biological and Chemical Conversion to Fuels and Chemicals

Aqueous Pretreatment of Plant Biomass for Biological and Chemical Conversion to Fuels and Chemicals

How to Cite

Agblevor, F. A. and Pereira, J. (2013) Progress in the Summative Analysis of Biomass Feedstocks for Biofuels Production, in Aqueous Pretreatment of Plant Biomass for Biological and Chemical Conversion to Fuels and Chemicals (ed C. E. Wyman), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470975831.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and Center for Environmental Research and Technology, University of California, Riverside, USA

  2. 4

    BioEnergy Science Center, Oak Ridge, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Biological Engineering, Utah State University, Logan, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 APR 2013
  2. Published Print: 10 MAY 2013

Book Series:

  1. Wiley Series in Renewable Resources

Book Series Editors:

  1. Christian V. Stevens

Series Editor Information

  1. Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470972021

Online ISBN: 9780470975831

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Keywords:

  • biomass feedstocks;
  • biomass conversion;
  • gas chromatography;
  • HPLC;
  • lignin

Summary

The analysis of biomass feedstocks for conversion into fuels and chemicals is a major challenge because of the diversity of biomass, differences in chemical composition from different feedstocks, and structural similarities of various sugars. There is no single simple method that can be used to characterize the feedstocks to ensure excellent mass balances. Several standard methods exist including NREL Laboratory Analytical Procedures (NREL LAP), ASTM International Standards, AOAC methods and others in various research laboratories. The analysis of lignin and extractives are similar for most types of biomass except for a few modifications to suit particular feedstocks. Most lignins are determined using the Klason lignin method. Although gas chromatographic (GC) sugar analysis is the most accurate and can be used for both sugars in biomass and environmental samples, sample preparation is lengthy. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) sugar analyses are simpler than GC methods, but they produce less accurate results for minor sugars. The two major HPLC methods currently used for biomass sugar analysis are partition chromatography and ion exchange chromatography. The ion exchange chromatography methods require expensive detectors such as the pulsed amperometric detector (PAD) that requires samples from biomass hydrolysates to be diluted several-fold. Development of Prevail carbohydrate columns and similar HPLC columns and the use of gradient methods have made it possible to resolve most common biomass sugars using partition chromatography. Coupled with evaporative light scattering detection (ELSD), the Prevail carbohydrate method can produce very good results and requires minimal preparation of biomass hydrolysates. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods show promise and require less sample preparation time, but the expensive equipment required may not be readily accessible to most biomass conversion laboratories.