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Feedstock Analysis Sensitivity For Estimating Ethanol Production Potential In Switchgrass And Energycane Biomass

K. Han, Young-Hwan Moon, D. F. Day, W. Pitman
Published 2016 · Chemistry

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Summary Efficient ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass requires highly degradable feedstock; therefore, there is a similarity between forage crop production for ruminant animals and ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass. Feed value analysis techniques may be used to estimate lignocellulosic biomass quality. Because lignin and its derivatives in cell walls are major compounds interrupting biomass degradation, fiber analysis and in vitro incubation tests were conducted with switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and energycane (Saccharum spp.) biomass collected at 100 and 120 g lignin (acid detergent lignin) kg−1 DM (dry matter). Mean NDF (neutral detergent fiber) in switchgrass was consistently greater than that of energy cane regardless of lignin levels, while ADF (acid detergent fiber) did not differ. Mean of energycane in vitro true digestibility and digestible neutral detergent fiber were greater than those of switchgrass. The ADF and ruminal fermentation rate averaged by lignin levels differed, while most of the analysis results did not. Based on ADF and NDF concentrations, switchgrass contained a greater concentration of hemicellulose than energycane, while cellulose concentration was similar. Fermentability of energycane was consistently greater than that of switchgrass. Fermentation gas volume was positively correlated with cellulosic biomass degradation for ethanol production. Consequently, fermentation gas kinetic parameters obtained from biomass fermentation with rumen fluid or with yeast indicate that the fermentable pool size is the parameter most closely correlated to ethanol production potential across the species. Results obtained from feed value analyses demonstrate fermentation variability and meaningful relationships between fermentation gas parameters and ethanol production. Thus, the ruminal fermentation process is useful as a screening tool for ethanol production potential of biofuel feedstock. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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