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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sequential enzymatic saccharification and fermentation of ionic liquid and organosolv pretreated agave bagasse for ethanol production

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Agave bagasse (AGB) has gained recognition as a drought-tolerant biofuel feedstock with high productivity in semiarid regions. A comparative analysis of ionic liquid (IL) and organosolv (OV) pretreatment technologies in AGB was performed using a sequential enzymatic saccharification and fermentation (SESF) strategy with cellulolytic enzymes and the ethanologenic Escherichia coli strain MS04. After pretreatment, 86% of xylan and 45% of lignin were removed from OV-AGB, whereas IL-AGB reduced lignin content by 28% and xylan by 50% when compared to the untreated biomass. High glucan (>90%) and xylan (>83%) conversion was obtained with both pretreated samples. During the fermentation stage (48h), 12.1 and 12.7kg of ethanol were produced per 100kg of untreated AGB for IL and OV, respectively. These comparative analyses showed the advantages of SESF using IL and OV in a biorefinery configuration where a better understanding of AGB recalcitrance is key for future applications.

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