Aqueous Fractionation of Biomass Based on Novel Carbohydrate Hydrolysis Kinetics
A multi-function process for hydrolysis and fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass to separate hemicellulosic sugars from other biomass components comprising extractives and proteins; a portion of a solubilized lignin; cellulose; glucose derived from cellulose; and insoluble lignin from said biomass comprising:a) introducing either solid fresh biomass or partially fractioned lignocellulosic biomass material with entrained acid or water into a reactor and heating to a temperature of up to about 185.degree. C.-205.degree. C.b) allowing the reaction to proceed to a point where about 60% of the hemicellulose has been hydrolyzed in the case of water or complete dissolution in case of acid;c) adding a dilute acid liquid at a pH below about 5 at a temperature of up to about 205.degree. C. for a period ranging from about 5 to about 10 minutes; to hydrolyze the remaining 40% of hemicellulose if water is used.d) quenching the reaction at a temperature of up to about 140.degree. C. to quench all degradation and hydrolysis reactions; ande) introducing into said reaction chamber and simultaneously removing from said reaction chamber, a volumetric flow rate of dilute acid at a temperature of up to about 140.degree. C. to wash out the majority of the solubilized biomass components, to obtain improved hemicellosic sugar yields.
U.S. Patent 6,228,177
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