Chemical pretreatments on residual cocoa pod shell biomass for bioethanol production

Jose F. Alvarez-Barreto, Fernando Larrea, Maria C. Pinos, Jose Benalcázar, Daniela Oña, Carolina Andino, Daniela A. Viteri, Marco Leon, Daniela Almeida-Streitwieser

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

4 Citas (Scopus)


Cocoa pod shell is an essential agricultural residue in Ecuador, and this study addressed its potential valorization for bioethanol production. For this, three types of pretreatments, acid, alkaline, and autohydrolysis, were applied to pod shells from two different cocoa types, national and CCN-51. to remove the lignin. Untreated and treated biomasses were characterized by composition, thermal stability, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FITR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The treated biomass was then enzymatically hydrolyzed with cellulase. Reducing sugars were quantified after pretreatments and enzymatic hydrolysis, and the pretreatment liquors and the enzymatic hydrolysates were subjected to alcoholic fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. There were substantial differences in composition between both biomasses, particularly in lignin content, with national cocoa having the lowest values. All pretreatment conditions had significant effects on biomass composition, structure, and thermal properties. After alkaline pretreatment, the biomass presented the highest cellulose and lowest lignin contents, resulting in the highest reducing sugar concentration in the pretreatment liquor. The highest lignin content was found after the acid pretreatment, which resulted in low, reducing sugar concentrations. Autohydrolysis produced similar results as the acid pretreatment; however, it resulted in the highest sugar concentration after enzymatic hydrolysis, while the acid-treated sample had negligible levels. After fermentation, there were no differences in productivity among the pretreatment liquors, but autohydrolysis had the largest ethanol yield. In the hydrolysates, it was also autohydrolysis that resulted in higher productivity and yield. Thus, there is an indication of the formation of inhibitors, both enzymatic activity and ethanol production, in the acid and alkaline pretreatments, and this should be tackled in future research. Nonetheless, given the crucial changes observed in biomass, we believe that cocoa pod shell pretreatment has potential for the generation of reducing sugars that could be further used in different bioprocesses, nor only bioethanol production.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)1490-1500
Número de páginas11
EstadoPublicada - 2021


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