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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ADVANCED CONVERSION TECHNOLOGIES FOR SUGARS AND BIOFUELS: SUPERIOR FEEDSTOCKS, PRETREATMENTS, INHIBITOR REMOVAL, AND ENZYMES

Location: Bioenergy Research Unit

Title: Screening alfalfa, reed canarygrass, and switchgrass cultivars for ethanol yield by treating with dilute-acid followed by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation

Authors
item Dien, Bruce
item O Bryan, Patricia
item Jung, Hans Joachim
item Vogel, Kenneth
item Casler, Michael
item Lamb, Joann
item Mitchell, Robert
item Sarath, Gautam

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Alfalfa, reed canarygrass, and switchgrass are perennial herbaceous plants being considered for use as dedicated bioenergy crops because of their high productivity and favorable agronomics. However, selecting for cultivars with high conversion quality from among the diversity of genetic variants available requires screening large numbers of samples. We have developed a one bottle assay suitable for screening biomass samples that only requires standard laboratory equipment. The biomass sample is pretreated with dilute sulfuric acid by heating in an autoclave for an hour and neutralized with Ca(OH)2. The neutralized whole hydrolysate is subsequently either fermented to ethanol in the presence of commercial cellulases and Saccharomyces yeast or saccharified to simple sugars by solely adding enzymes. As the samples are not washed, it is possible to maintain a strict mass balance. This assay was used to evaluate approximately 100 samples each of the before mentioned perennial crops. Samples were also analyzed for carbohydrates and lignin. Ethanol and sugar yields were correlated with carbohydrates and lignin contents.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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