Sonia Ghatora1, Mayank Kumar1, Mahdi Vaezi1, Amit Kumar1 and David Bressler2.
1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
2Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Pipeline can be used for the hydro-transportation of both the untreated and pretreated biomass to the biorefinery. A laboratory-scale closed-circuit pipeline facility was used to study the release of sugars; glucose and xylose, while pipelining wheat straw slurries. The release of sugar was also observed in the Erlenmeyer flask using wheat straw under shaking conditions. After few hours, both in the flask and pipeline, a drop in the sugar concentration was detected. The microbiological analysis of the slurry indicated that the decline in the sugar concentration could be due to microbial proliferation. Therefore, an oxidizing antimicrobial agent, diethyl pyrocarbonate (DPEC) and two non-oxidizing antimicrobial agents, glutaraldehyde and bronopol were used in the slurry to restrict microbial proliferation. After the use of antimicrobial agents in flask and pipeline, an increase in the concentration of glucose and xylose was observed. With the use of bronopol, 3.94 ± 0.33 and 3.95 ± 0.28 (g/kg of biomass) of glucose and xylose respectively were observed in flask after 24 hours. However, after 48 hours of shaking in flask, respective concentrations of glucose and xylose were 4.47 ± 0.36 and 3.92 ± 0.34 (g/kg of biomass). In pipeline facility after 24 hours, the respective concentration of glucose and xylose was 4.79 ± 0.35 and 5.20 ± 0.51 (g/kg of biomass) and thereafter a decline in the sugar concentration was observed. Such drop in sugar concentration may be due to microbial contamination that can be overcome by dosing the slurry with antimicrobial agent again.