Influence of Hemicellulose Extraction on Physical and Mechanical Behavior of OSB
The use of wood (cellulose) for the production of biofuel is progressing rapidly, bu the utilization of wood in biofuel is historically not economically viable in part because the remaining solids are not used for other goods.
Hemicellulose is most easily removed since it is an amorphous and branched polysaccharide. Wood strands are a good candidate due to minimal mass transport restrictions (thickness less than 0.045″).
US and Canada OSB production in 2006 was 14.24 millions tonnes. Assuming a 15% weight removal of hemicellulose by hydolysis of the strands would result in an annual production of 2.14 million tonnes of hemicellulose.
Considering that the hemicellulose removed is 87% xylose and assuming a m odest conversion rate from xylose to ethanol of 0.35g. ethanol/g. xylose, then we could have around 0.65 million tones of ethanol. If the ethanol density is 0.789 g/cm3 and one-cubic centimeter represents 6.29 x 10^6 barrels (US petroleum), this would translate to 5.19 million barrels of ethanol/year. US corn-based production in 2006 was 100 millions barrels. US consumption was over 5,475 millions barrels/year of petroleum products in 2004.