Thermo-assisted NaOH pretreatment to deconstruct xylan and lignin in sugar cane bagasse (SCB) is poorly understood. Hence, in this research it is was aimed to study the effect of NaOH pretreatment on the insoluble remaining lignin structures. Hereto, SCB milled fibres were pretreated using different dosages of NaOH at different temperatures and residence times. Of untreated SCB about 63% of the lignin compounds were assigned as p-coumarates and ferulates, analysed by pyrolysis-GC/MS as 4-vinyl phenol and 4-vinyl guaiacol, and designated as non-core lignin (NCL) compounds. More severe NaOH pretreatments resulted in lower xylan and lower lignin recoveries in the insoluble residues. Especially, the relative abundance of NCL decreased and this decrease followed a linear trend with the decrease in xylan. Core lignin compounds, analysed as phenol, guaiacol and syringol, accumulated in the residues. The decrease in residual xylan and NCL correlated positively with the enzymatic hydrolysis of the residual glucan.
- Alkaline treatment
- Enzyme conversion