The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has more than 40million palm trees producing approximately 15kg of waste fronds per tree. These fronds contain a large portion of polysaccharides, which can be hydrolyzed to simple fermentable sugars. Seaweed consists of macroalgae containing high portions of polysaccharides, which are also abundantly found on the coasts of UAE. The effectiveness of lignin to degrade enzymes for the pretreatment of biomass from palm trees fronds and indigenous seaweed (prior to enzymatic hydrolysis) has been investigated and compared to conventional chemical treatment. By treating with laccase, up to 9 and 24% additional lignin was removed from palm fronds and seaweed, respectively. The performance of laccase was enhanced by using an ionic liquid, and a sugar yield of 12.6% was achieved after treatment with laccase for only 1hour. The proposed approach provides a promising simplification to the overall bioethanol production from biomass waste available globally in abundance, and in the UAE in particular.
- Ionic liquids
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