Nitrogen explosive decompression pre-treatment: An alternative to
M. Raud, K. Krennhuber, A. Jäger, T. Kikas - Nitrogen explosive decompression pre-treatment: An alternative to - Energy, Vol. 177, No. 4, 2019, pp. 175-182
When using the novel N2 explosive decompression pre-treatment, its effect was investigated in relation
to the biomass structure and chemical processes during the treatment process. The results that were
gained from this testing were compared to those for the widely-used steam explosion pre-treatment
method in order to be able to present the advantages in using each method. Both methods are
economically and environmentally attractive since only the pressure and water or steam are used to
break down the biomass structure.
Two pre-treatment methods were used at different temperatures and samples from various process
steps were analysed. The results were used to assess the pre-treatment effect and the chemical changes
in the biomass and, finally, mass balances were compiled for the bioethanol process at different process
The results show that the highest glucose and ethanol yields were obtained by means of the steam
explosion pre-treatment method at a temperature of 200 C (24.29 g and 12.72 g for 100 g of biomass
respectively), and at 175 C (15.4 g and 9.0 g for 100 g of biomass respectively). At lower temperatures the
nitrogen explosion treatment produced better yields.