Delignification efficiency of various types of biomass using microwave-assisted hydrotropic pretreatment

Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 16;12(1):4561. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-08717-9.


The use of a method of an effective delignification of lignocellulosic biomass is a key stage of designing processes of its microbiological conversion e.g. for the purposes of the production of cellulosic ethanol. The study was aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of microwave-assisted hydrotropic pretreatment using sodium cumene sulfonate (NaCS) for the delignification of pine and beech chips and wheat straw. Research results presenting the impact of process parameters of microwave-assisted hydrotropic delignification confirm a high effectiveness of this method of pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. The observed effects included changes in the composition of the biomass and an increased susceptibility of cellulose to the subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis. The use of microwave heating combined with an addition of hydrotrope of 40% w/v NaCS and 117 PSI for 60 min enabled a reduction of the absolute concentration of lignins by 36.58% in pine chips, by 57.68% in beech chips, and by 74.08% in wheat straw. After enzymatic hydrolysis was conducted, the highest concentration of glucose: 463.27 ± 11.25 mg glucose/g (hydrolysis yield 46.76 ± 1.14%) was obtained from the wheat straw, while 327.70 ± 22.15 mg glucose/g (hydrolysis yield 35.13 ± 2.37%) was acquired from the beech chips, and only 50.77 ± 0.75 mg glucose/g (hydrolysis yield 6.63 ± 0.10%) was obtained from the pine chips. Microwave-assisted hydrotropic delignification in the optimum process conditions additionally allows a complete removal of hemicellulose from biomass, which improves the effectiveness of enzymatic hydrolysis. Due to a significant reduction of lignin and hemicellulose concentration in biomass, cellulose-which is susceptible to enzymatic hydrolysis and a source of carbon in biosynthesis processes-becomes the main biomass component.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Cellulose
  • Glucose
  • Hydrolysis
  • Lignin*
  • Microwaves*
  • Triticum


  • Cellulose
  • Lignin
  • Glucose