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Comparison of liquid hot water, very dilute acid and alkali treatments for enhancing enzymatic digestibility of hazelnut tree pruning residues
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The effect of pretreatments on the composition of the hazelnut tree pruning residue (HTPR) and on the digestibility of the cellulose was investigated. The liquid hot water (LHW) and the very dilute acid (VDA) treatments were effective in solubilizing hemicellulose. The cellulose conversion increased up to around 60% (corresponding to 32–36 g/L glucose) with decreasing hemicellulose concentration in the pretreated HTPR. The alkali treatment provided partial delignification, however, the glucose production was comparably lower. Combining the hemicellulose removal and the delignification effect of different pretreatments in two-stage processes (LHW-alkali and VDA-alkali treatments) enhanced the cellulose concentration in the solids, but not the amount of glucose released in the enzymatic digestion. These results suggested that the hemicellulose was the main barrier against the conversion of cellulose in the LHW and VDA treated HTPR and the glucose in the hydrolysis medium inhibited the cellulase activity, which prevented the complete conversion of cellulose.