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Keywords:

  • autohydrolysis;
  • biorefinery;
  • Paulownia;
  • soda-AQ pulp;
  • saccharides

Abstract

In this study, we evaluated the potential of a species trihybrid Paulownia fortunei, tormentosa, and elongata as an industrial crop in terms of its contents in holocellulose, lignin, xylo-oligomers, monomers, and other glucan and its use for making cellulose pulp. Well-optimized biomass autohydrolysis processes yield valuable liquid and solid phases that can be used to produce liquid fuels and cellulosic pulp. The process was modeled to optimize the extraction of xylo-oligomers and xylose in the liquid phase while preserving the integrity of cellulose fibers. The optimum processing conditions (viz. temperatures of 180–195°C and operating times of 0–15 min) provided an acceptable solid phase yield (70%), while maintaining a high xylose and xylo-oligomer contents in the liquid phase. Soda—anthraquinone pulping of solid fraction provide 60.6% pulp yield at Kappa number 33 and a viscosity of 787 cm3/g. The autohydrolyzed chips required 16.6% less alkali than the regular chips to achieve Kappa number 33. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2011