Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 8, 2021
Previous Article Next Article

Use of ensiled biomass sorghum increases ionic liquid pretreatment efficiency and reduces biofuel production cost and carbon footprint

Author affiliations

Abstract

Pretreatment is an essential step to enable the efficient conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels and bioproducts. The most effective pretreatment methods currently in use are based on severe thermochemical approaches, which are costly and energy-intensive. Here we explored whether the common practice of ensiling grassy biomass, such as sorghum, could be used as a pre-processing step to increase the conversion efficiency under milder pretreatment conditions. We determined the impact of replacing dry sorghum biomass with ensiled sorghum biomass on the deconstruction efficiency, process economics, and carbon footprint of a lignocellulosic biorefinery that employs a separation-free ionic liquid pretreatment coupled to enzymatic saccharification and microbial conversion. Our results indicate that the use of ensiled biomass allowed for a 50% reduction in both the amount of ionic liquid (from 5 to 2.5% (w/w) as measured by initial pretreatment loading) and the time required for enzymatic saccharification (from 72 h to 24 h) without sacrificing efficiency. We show that the resulting hydrolysate can be used to cultivate an engineered strain of Rhodosporidium toruloides to convert >90% of the monomeric sugars into bisabolene, a promising intermediate to biofuels and bioproducts. Overall, we estimate that the replacement of field-dried biomass sorghum with ensiled sorghum in combination with an ionic liquid-based deconstruction process could reduce the minimum selling price and carbon footprint of biofuel production in a biorefinery by at least 13% and 8.2%, respectively.

Graphical abstract: Use of ensiled biomass sorghum increases ionic liquid pretreatment efficiency and reduces biofuel production cost and carbon footprint

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
25 Sep 2020
Accepted
10 Feb 2021
First published
16 Apr 2021

This article is Open Access

Green Chem., 2021,23, 3127-3140
Article type
Paper

Use of ensiled biomass sorghum increases ionic liquid pretreatment efficiency and reduces biofuel production cost and carbon footprint

H. D. Magurudeniya, N. R. Baral, A. Rodriguez, C. D. Scown, J. Dahlberg, D. Putnam, A. George, B. A. Simmons and J. M. Gladden, Green Chem., 2021, 23, 3127
DOI: 10.1039/D0GC03260C

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements