Modeling and Production of Bioethanol from Mixtures of Cotton Gin Waste and Recycled Paper Sludge


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Virginia Tech


In this study, the hydrolytic kinetics of mixtures of cotton gin waste (CGW) and recycled paper sludge (RPS) at various initial enzyme concentrations of Spezyme AO3117 and Novozymes NS50052 was investigated. The experiments showed that the concentrations of reducing sugars and the conversions of the mixtures increased with increasing initial enzyme concentration. The reducing sugar concentration and conversion of the mixture of 75% CGW and 25% RPS were higher than those of the mixture of 80% CGW and 20% RPS. The conversion of the former could reach 73.8% after a 72-hour hydrolysis at the initial enzyme loading of 17.4 Filter Paper Unit (FPU)/g substrate. A three-parameter kinetic model with convergent property based on enzyme deactivation and its analytical expression were derived. Using nonlinear regression, the parameters of the model were determined from the experimental data of hydrolytic kinetics of the mixtures. Based on this kinetic model of hydrolysis, two profit rate models, representing two kinds of operating modes with and without substrate recycling, were developed. Using the profit rate models, the optimal enzyme loading and hydrolytic time could be predicted for the maximum profit rate in ethanol production according to the costs of enzyme and operation, enzyme loading, and ethanol market price. Simulated results from the models based on the experimental data of hydrolysis of the mixture of 75% CGW and 25% RPS showed that use of a high substrate concentration and an operating mode with feedstock recycle could greatly increase the profit rate of ethanol production. The results also demonstrated that the hydrolysis at a low enzyme loading was economically required for systematic optimization of ethanol production. The development of profit rate model points out a way to optimize a monotonic function with variables, such as enzyme loading and hydrolytic time for the maximum profit rate.

The study also investigated the ethanol production from the steam-exploded mixture of 75 wt% cotton gin waste and 25 wt% recycled paper sludge at various influencing factors, such as enzyme concentration, substrate concentration, and severity factor, by a novel operating mode: semi-simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSSF) consisting of a pre-hydrolysis and a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF). Four cases were studied: 24-hour pre-hydrolysis + 48-hour SSF (SSSF 24), 12-hour pre-hydrolysis + 60-hour SSF (SSSF 12), 72-hour SSF, and 48-hour hydrolysis + 12-hour fermentation (SHF). SSSF 24 produced higher ethanol concentration, yield, and productivity than the other operating modes. The higher temperature of steam explosion favored of ethanol production, but the higher initial enzyme concentration could not increase the final ethanol concentration though the hydrolytic rate of the substrate was increased. A mathematical model of SSSF, which consisted of an enzymatic hydrolysis model and a SSF model including four ordinary differential equations that describe the changes of cellobiose, glucose, microorganism, and ethanol concentrations with respect to residence time, was developed, and was used to simulate the data for the four components in the SSSF processes of ethanol production from the mixture. The model parameters were determined by a MATLAB program based on the batch experimental data of the SSSF. The analysis to the reaction rates of cellobiose, glucose, cell, and ethanol using the model and the parameters from the experiments showed that the conversion of cellulose to cellobiose was a rate-controlling step in the SSSF process of ethanol production from cellulose.



Profit rate, Diffusivity., Kinetic model, Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation, Enzymatic hydrolysis, Ethanol, Cellulose, Deactivation, Operating mode, Recycled paper sludge, Cotton gin waste