Optimized pre-treatment of fast growing woody and .. (LIGNODECO)
Optimized pre-treatment of fast growing woody and nonwoody Brazilian crops by detailed characterization of chemical changes produced in the lignin-carbohydrate matrix
Start date: Jan 1, 2010,
End date: Dec 31, 2012
Biomass production costs are low in Brazil compared to other parts of the world, due to proper climate and advanced forest and agricultural technologies. The productivities of elephant grass (Pennisetum spp; 30-45 t/ha/yr bone dry) and eucalypt crops (20-30 t/ha/yr bone dry) in Brazil are amongst the world largest, with good perspectives of growing even further. Thus, Brazil presents great potential for application of the Biorefinery concept. It is our contend that production of biofuels and bio-products from lignocellulosics is better fit to existing pulp manufacturing facilities, to take advantage of existing infrastructure and the possibility of process integration. The objective of the LIGNODECO proposal is developing pre-treatments for optimized deconstruction of hybrid eucalyptus clones and elephant grass biomass into its components aimed at production of biofuel (bioethanol and biogas) along with specialty grade pulps and other bio-products, strongly emphasising feedstock selection and use of advanced analytical tools. This will be accomplished by collection/selection of feedstocks for deconstruction studies, optimized pre-treatments for woody and nonwoody materials, physical/chemical characterization of the pre-treated materials, and tie in between pre-treatment and industrial use of lignocellulosics. LIGNODECO incorporates innovations such as tailor-made modifications of existing technologies for paper-pulp industry, mild biotechnological pre-treatments based on biocatalysts, modern analytical techniques for characterizing lignin, hemicelluloses and cellulose, utilization of Brazilian fast-growing woody and nonwoody crops as feedstock for future biofuels, novel high value-added cellulosic pulps from eucalypt and grasses for specialty papers, integrated use of xylan and lignin-containing by-products and effluents in energy and biogas production, and production of hemicellulose-based additives for wood pulps, and lignin-based chemicals and power/steam.
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