Sugarcane bagasse was subjected to steam pretreatment impregnated with hydrogen peroxide. Analyses were performed using 23 factorial designs and enzymatic hydrolysis was performed at two different solid concentrations and with washed and unwashed material to evaluate the importance of this step for obtaining high cellulose conversion. Similar cellulose conversion were obtained at different conditions of pretreatment and hydrolysis. When the cellulose was hydrolyzed using the pretreated material in the most severe conditions of the experimental design (210°C, 15 min and 1.0% hydrogen peroxide), and using 2% (w/w) water-insoluble solids (WIS), and 15 FPU/g WIS, the cellulose conversion was 86.9%. In contrast, at a milder pretreatment condition (190°C, 15 min and 0.2% hydrogen peroxide) and industrially more realistic conditions of hydrolysis (10% WIS and 10 FPU/g WIS), the cellulose conversion reached 82.2%. The step of washing the pretreated material was very important to obtain high concentrations of fermentable sugars. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2012
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