حلال جدید منجر به نسل بعدی تولید سوخت های زیستی از زیست توده

New solvent contributes to next-generation biofuel production from biomass

Compared to first-generation biofuels produced from food crops, production of second-generation biofuels for daily use is an urgent issue. In this study, researchers developed a novel carboxylate-type liquid zwitterion as a solvent of biomass, which could dissolve cellulose with very low toxicity to microorganisms. Use of this novel solvent enables significant reduction of energy cost for ethanol production from non-food biomass. Thus, second-generation biofuel ethanol production is in sight of practical implementation.

Ethanol is produced from like maize, and thus poses a threat to food supply. It is therefore necessary to produce from non-food biomass like weeds, waste paper, etc. Solvents needed for the production of second-generation biofuel ethanol are highly toxic to microorganisms. Complicated processes are necessary to remove such highly toxic solvents, such as washing with water, separation by centrifugation and compression. As a result, the energy recovered in this ethanol is less than that required to produce it, i.e., there is a negative energy balance and a greater load on the environment. It was considered impossible to solve this problem, since a harsh solvent was needed to break down recalcitrant plant materials like cellulose, while such a harsh solvent would kill microorganisms that play essential roles in the fermentation necessary for producing ethanol.

In the present study, researchers of Kanazawa University, Japan, succeeded in reducing the toxicity to microorganisms by developing a novel solvent, a carboxylate-type liquid zwitterion for dissolving biomass cellulose (Figure 1). The EC50, the concentration of a substance that reduces the growth of Escherichia coli to 50 percent, was found to be 158 g/L for the newly developed carboxylate-type liquid zwitterion, whereas the EC50 of ionic liquid, one of the conventional solvents of cellulose, was 9 g/L. This indicates that the novel carboxylate-type liquid zwitterion shows 17-fold lower toxicity than the ionic liquid.

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حلال جدید منجر به نسل بعدی تولید سوخت های زیستی از زیست توده – اخبار زیست فناوری

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