JBNB  Vol.5 No.1 , January 2014
Propyl-Sulfonic Acid Functionalized Nanoparticles as Catalyst for Pretreatment of Corn Stover
ABSTRACT

Propyl-sulfonic (PS) acid-functionalized nanoparticles were synthesized, characterized and evaluated as catalysts for pretreatment of corn stover. Silica coated nanoparticles were functionalized with 0.5% mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MPTMS) at neutral pH in a mixture of water and ethanol. Sulfur contents of the acid functionalized nanoparticles, measured in a CHNS analyzer, varied from 6%-10%, and the acid load ranged from 0.040 to 0.066 mmol H+/g. A Box-Behnken design was employed to calculate the minimum number experiments required to obtain an estimate of the surface response for temperature, catalyst load, and %S content of the catalyst. Pretreatment of corn stover was carried out at three temperature levels 160, 180, and 200°C for 1 h. Three levels of catalyst load were used 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 g of catalyst per gram of biomass. Hydro-thermolysis controls were carried at each temperature level. The catalyst load did not have an effect on the glucose yield at 160°C, and the average glucose yield obtained at this temperature was 59.0%. The glucose yield was linearly correlated to the catalyst load during pretreatment at 180°C, and a maximum glucose yield of 90% was reached when using 0.2 g of PS nanoparticles that had a total sulfur content of 6.1%. Complete hydrolysis of glucose was reached at 200°C but the average xylose yield was 4.6%, and about 20.2% of the combined glucose and xylose were lost as hydroxymethylfurfural and furfural. Results showed that acid-functionalized nanoparticles can be potential catalysts for the pretreatment of biomass for its later conversion to ethanol.


Cite this paper
L. Peña, F. Xu, K. Hohn, J. Li and D. Wang, "Propyl-Sulfonic Acid Functionalized Nanoparticles as Catalyst for Pretreatment of Corn Stover," Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2014, pp. 8-16. doi: 10.4236/jbnb.2014.51002.
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