Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy ; Oak Ridge, Tenn. : distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2012
Book — 1 online resource (4 pp. ) : digital, PDF file.
The Value Prior to Pulping (VPP) project goal was to demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of introducing a new value stream into existing pulp and paper mills. Essentially the intent was to transfer the energy content of extracted hemicellulose from electricity and steam generated in the recovery boiler to a liquid transportation fuel. The hemicellulose fraction was extracted prior to pulping, fractionated, or conditioned if necessary, and fermented to ethanol. Commercial adaptation of the process to wood hemicelluloses was a prerequisite for using this less currently valued component available from biomass and wood. These hemicelluloses are predominately glucurono-xylan in hardwoods and galactoglucomannan in softwoods (with a significant softwood component of an arabino-xylan) and will yield fermentation substrates different from cellulose. NREL provided its expertise in the area of fermentation host evaluation using its Zymomonas strains on the CleanTech Partner's (CTP) VPP project. The project was focused on the production of fuel ethanol and acetic acid from hemicellulose streams generated from wood chips of industrially important hardwood and softwood species. NREL was one of four partners whose ethanologen was tested on the hydrolyzed extracts. The use of commercially available enzymes to treat oligomeric sugar extracts was also investigated and coupled with fermentation. Fermentations by NREL were conducted with the Zymomonas mobilis organism with most of the work being performed with the 8b strain. The wood extracts hydrolyzed and/or fermented by NREL were those derived from maple, mixed southern hardwoods, and loblolly pine. An unhydrolyzed variant of the mixed southern hardwood extract possessed a large concentration of oligomeric sugars and enzymatic hydrolysis was performed with a number of enzymes, followed by fermentation. The fermentation of the wood extracts was carried out at bench scale in flasks or small bioreactors, with a maximum volume of 500 mL.