The first technical FRACTION deliverable (D1.1.) has been completed. This report sets the basis for the choice and characterisation of biomass feedstocks that will be used along the project. The report includes the description of type and particle size of each of the 5 varieties of biomass that have been selected, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eu, as hardwood representative), White Birch (WB, as hardwood representative), Pinus Sylvestris (PS, as softwood representative), Sugarcane bagasse (SCB, as Agri-waste representative) and Old corrugated cardboard (OCC, as waste stream representative). For the wood feedstocks, 4 different particle sizes have been considered while SCB and OCC have been used as received, as they already come in a small particle size. The composition of the biomass mixtures used in the project is calculated based on the composition of the pure feedstocks.
According to the composition analysis there are three samples (Eu, WB, SCB) that contain hemicellulose rich in C5 sugars, and we expect that the most promising pathway for downstream processing of these samples will be the production of furfural, but it could be expanded to the production of lactates and other valuable molecules. For PS, the hemicellulose is rich in C6 sugars and the most promising pathway seems to be the production of lactates and HMF. The OCC sample has a lower content of both C5 and C6 and both options will be explored. Regarding lignin production, all samples have a content of Klason lignin close or above 20% and look promising in terms of the yield that can be achieved, except for OCC that only has 11.5% of lignin. Regarding cellulose, yields are close to or above 40 wt%, so obtaining cellulose samples will not be a challenge. Nevertheless, of the yield that can be achieved, the quality of the lignin and cellulose streams obtained will have to be tested.
Regarding particle size, we have observed minor effects on the initial results. Considering that economically larger particle size will be beneficial, we have decided to do the optimization using the larger particle size received.
For more information: WP1 Leader Dr. David Martin Alonso, firstname.lastname@example.org, CSIC
This text is part of FRACTION Newsletter June 2022.