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Dagnino, E. P., Chamorro, E. R., Romano, S. D., Felissia, F. E., and Area, M. C. (2013). "Optimization of the pretreatment of Prosopis nigra sawdust for the production of fermentable sugars," BioRes. 8(1), 499-514.


The black carob tree (Prosopis nigra) is a particularly valued species in Chaco, Argentina on account of its hard wood. Finding a use for the sawdust, the main industrial residue of wood, could be useful within the furniture industry of any country in the tropics seeking to apply the biorefinery concept. For the conversion of wood carbohydrates to bioethanol, a pretreatment stage is necessary. The objective of this work was to find the acid pretreatment conditions that maximize the extraction of xylose with minimum degradation, while maximizing the concentration of glucans in the pretreated solid to obtain better enzymatic accessibility, using black carob tree sawdust as the raw material. The optimization was carried out by use of a central composite design (CCD) with two independent variables: the concentration of the sulfuric acid solution and the heating time. Optimal enzymatic hydrolysis occurred at the mean values of the tested acid solution concentration (1.2%) and after shorter heating times (10.2 min). The concentration of sugars after the enzymatic hydrolysis of the pretreated solid over a time period of 72 h was three times higher than the untreated solid.
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