Enzymatic Pretreatment of Lignocellulose Rich Waste for Improved Biogas Production
The present study aimed to investigate the methane yield from anaerobic digestion of a lignocellulosic substrate subjected to different pretreatments. The lignocellulosic forest residues materials were milled and then pretreated with the organic solvent NMMO (N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide) and/or the lignolytic enzymes laccase and versatile peroxidase at a dosage of 60 U g-1 total solids (TS) substrate. The amount of methane produced was studied in a biomethane potential assay with inocula from a thermophilic biogas reactor treating municipal waste. All samples were run in triplicates. Due to the large amount of samples, two biomethane potential assays were conducted: series 10 & 20 and series 30 & 40. The gas production results show that NMMO-treated forest residues yielded 130 NmL CH4 g-1 volatile solids (VS) substrate and the untreated forest residues yielded 95 NmL CH4 g-1 VS substrate for series 10 & 20. For series 30 & 40, both untreated and NMMO-treated forest residues yielded 140 NmL CH4 g-1 VS substrate. NMMO-treatment appears to be favourable and no advantages from the enzyme pretreatment could be seen in terms of gas yield. An analysis of the reaction fluid after the enzymatic treatment showed presence of phenols, an indication of successful lignin hydrolysis.
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