Influence of Temperature and Reaction Time on the Efficiency of Alkaline Pretreatment of Hay Biomass
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Faculty of Environmental Engineering, Lublin University of Technology, Nadbystrzycka 40B, 20-618 Lublin, Poland
Magdalena Zdeb   

Lublin University of Technology, Nadbystrzycka 38 D, 20-618 Lublin, Poland
Publication date: 2021-02-01
J. Ecol. Eng. 2021; 22(2):120–127
Low biodegradability caused by polymeric structure is the main barrier in the use of lignocellulosic materials in biofuels production by using biological methods. Pretreatment of the biomass is the way to improve the suitability of hardly biodegradable biomass for biogas or bioethanol production. Evaluation of the influence of thermal and thermochemical alkaline pretreatment on the efficiency of hydrolysis of hay (mixture of various grass species) was the aim of the study. The batch scale experiment was carried out with the use of NaOH and distilled water as solvents, and the changes in pretreatment time (2, 4 and 8 hours) and temperature (22 and 80°C) were also considered. The efficiency of biomass solubilisation was assessed based on the results obtained from the measurements of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentration in the hydrolysates. The solubility of the biomass, expressed as a percentage of soluble COD in total COD, was calculated. The experiment showed that the highest solubilisation of hay biomass was observed at 80°C under alkaline conditions. In this case, the solubility of the COD was 3-times higher, and the VFA concentration in hydrolysates was 4-times higher in comparison to the distilled water-based test at 22°C. It was noted that time of the process significantly influenced the efficiency of biomass solubilisation only during the experiment carried out at 22°C. Extension of hydrolysis time from 2 to 8 hours increased the value of soluble COD of 70% and 55% for water and alkaline solvent, respectively. The process conducted at 80°C was not time-dependent over the considered period.