Lignocellulosic biomass such as sugarcane bagasse (SCB) is a renewable and abundant source for ethanol production. Sugarcane bagasse is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, extractives, and several inorganic materials. Pretreatment methods of SCB are necessary for the successful conversion of SCB to ethanol. Each pretreatment process has a specific effect on the cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin fraction. The conversion of SCB to ethanol typically consists of four main steps: pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation, and distillation. Hence, different pretreatment methods should be chosen according to the process design for the following hydrolysis, fermentation, and distillation steps. There are many types of pretreatments such as physical, chemical, physico-chemical, and biological pretreatments. This chapter reviews the chemical and physico-chemical pretreatment methods of SCB which are often used by many researchers for ethanol production. Different chemical and physico-chemical pretreatment methods of SCB are introduced and discussed based on relevance to the sugar yield, lignin removal, and cellulose content after pretreatment.
Part of the book: Fuel Ethanol Production from Sugarcane