Biological Conversion of Hemicelluloses Extracted from Hardwood: Enabling Co-production of Ethanol and Pulp in an Integrated Forest Bio-refinery
Lignocellulose represents a readily available renewable feedstock which may be used in the production of a variety of chemicals and fuels. An integrated bio-refinery could extract hemicellulose while preserving cellulose for pulp production. Hemicelluloses are traditionally burned in the recovery process, but do not have the high heating value of lignin, and could be converted to valuse added products. Fermenting the hemicellulose derived five carbon sugars is more difficult than fermenting cellulose derived glucose. Increasing the fermentation yield of hemicellulose is essential to making the bio-refinery economical.