MADRAS AGRICULTURAL JOURNAL
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Catalytic Downflow Liquid Contact Reactor for Biomass Pretreatment To Biofuel Production

Abstract

                                The quest for alternative sources of energy generation that are inexpensive, eco-friendly, renewable and can re- place fossil fuels is owing to the increasing demands of energy. Production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass, holds remarkable potential to meet the current energy demand as well as to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions for a sustainable clean environment. Lignocellulose biomass feedstocks compulsorily undergo pretreatment process to release the fermentable sugars. The most of the existing pretreatment processes is energy intensive and con- sumes more cost. Low cost and effective pretreatment is essential to overcome the hurdles in commercialization of biofuel production from lignocellulose biomass. Catalytic Downflow liquid contact reactor (CDLCR) is an innovative method used to pretreat the lignocellulosic biomass, which consists of pump, electrical motor, circulation tank and pipe accessories. The present study deals with the pretreatment of pearl millet biomass using alkali catalyst (Ca (OH) 2) in a CDLCR under ambient conditions. Results of experimental trial show that there was significant re-duction in lignin and hemicellulose observed for pearl millet biomass. The minimum and maximum total reducing sugars observed at 10 and 60 min. of reaction time were 77.80 and 160.15 mg/g of biomass.

Key words : Lignocellulosic biomass, Pretreatment, Catalytic Downflow Liquid Contact Reactor

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