Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

12-2019

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.

Department

Chemical Engineering

Degree Program

JB Speed School of Engineering

Committee Chair

Berson, Eric

Committee Member

Satyavolu, Jagannadh

Committee Member

Sathitsuksanoh, Noppadon

Committee Member

Handa, Sachin

Author's Keywords

Phenyl boronic acid; Biorefinery

Abstract

The application of a novel xylose isolation procedure using phenyl boronic acid esterification has been limited to the hydrolyzates of low extractive biomasses like hardwoods and agricultural resides. Hydrolyzates with lower sugar and higher extractive concentrations, like softwoods, have not yielded xylose, or even xylose diester (XDE), the first intermediate product in the new process, under the same conditions. This research applied evaporation concentration, adsorbent separation and membrane filtration to these lower performing biomass hydrolyzates to maximize the yield of the XDE formation step of the new xylose extraction process. Lab-scale tests of these techniques were applied to pine hydrolyzate and the XDE formation step of the xylose extraction procedure was performed. Sugar concentrations of the hydrolyzates before and after treatments were measured using HPLC. Product yields were compared in order to determine the effectiveness of the various techniques in increasing the XDE yield. Results showed that activated carbon, one of the adsorbents used, increased yield by more than 230%, and membrane filtration improved XDE yield by 150%. The results of this research support large-scale testing of both of these techniques in future studies.

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