Production of Bio-Ethanol from Beech Wood Pellets via Mild Acetone Organosolv Fractionation

Truus de Vrije, K. Dussan*, R. van de Vondervoort, P.A. Bonouvrie, A.T. Smit, A.M. López-Contreras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review


Advanced biofuels are produced from renewable resources that comply with stringent sustainability criteria, and lower GHG emissions than fossil fuels. In the BECOOL/BioValue EU-Brazil cooperation project, novel value chains for advanced bioethanol are developed. Second generation (2G) bio-ethanol represents the most important advanced biofuel from sugar streams, but its production costs are higher than those of other fuels, and innovations are needed to improve efficiency and economics of the process. In this work, beech wood pellets were treated using the FABIOLATM technology, an acetone-based low-temperature organosolv fractionation process. This fractionation results in three main product streams: lignin, a high-purity cellulosic pulp and hemicellulose sugars in solution. The cellulosic pulp was enzymatically hydrolysed producing a glucose-rich (C6) stream and the hemicellulose sugar solution (C5) is conditioned for further biological conversion. The C6 and C5 streams obtained were used for fermentation by the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Spathaspora passalidarum, respectively. While the C6 stream was readily fermentable, the C5 stream was only fermentable after dilution. Therefore the C5 stream was subjected to detoxification by activated carbon. Detoxified C5 streams showed higher fermentability and the production of bio-ethanol reached approximately 0.3 g bio-ethanol/gram xylose consumed. Fermentation experiments at 10-L scale confirmed the results obtained at laboratory scale. Combining FABIOLATM and detoxification resulted in efficient C6 and C5 utilization for bio-ethanol production.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication30th European Biomass Conference
Subtitle of host publicationSetting the course for a biobased economy: Proceedings of the International Conference held online
EditorsP.-F. Chevet, N. Scarlat, A. Grassi
Place of PublicationFlorence
PublisherETA-Florence Renewable Energies
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9788889407226
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event30th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 9 May 202212 May 2022

Publication series

NameEuropean Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings
PublisherETA-Florence Renewable Energies
ISSN (Print)2282-5819


Conference30th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2022
CityVirtual, Online


  • Bioethanol
  • biotechnology
  • fermentation
  • Lignocellulosic sources


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