Thermochemical hydrolysis of macroalgae Ulva for biorefinery: Taguchi robust design method

Rui Jiang, Yoav Linzon, Edward Vitkin, Zohar Yakhini, Alexandra Chudnovsky, Alexander Golberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the impact of all process parameters on the efficiency of biomass hydrolysis and on the final yield of products is critical to biorefinery design. Using Taguchi orthogonal arrays experimental design and Partial Least Square Regression, we investigated the impact of change and the comparative significance of thermochemical process temperature, treatment time, %Acid and %Solid load on carbohydrates release from green macroalgae from Ulva genus, a promising biorefinery feedstock. The average density of hydrolysate was determined using a new microelectromechanical optical resonator mass sensor. In addition, using Flux Balance Analysis techniques, we compared the potential fermentation yields of these hydrolysate products using metabolic models of Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae wild type, Saccharomyces cerevisiae RN1016 with xylose isomerase and Clostridium acetobutylicum. We found that %Acid plays the most significant role and treatment time the least significant role in affecting the monosaccharaides released from Ulva biomass. We also found that within the tested range of parameters, hydrolysis with 121 °C, 30 min 2% Acid, 15% Solids could lead to the highest yields of conversion: 54.134-57.500 gr ethanol kg-1 Ulva dry weight by S. cerevisiae RN1016 with xylose isomerase. Our results support optimized marine algae utilization process design and will enable smart energy harvesting by thermochemical hydrolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27761
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 13 Jun 2016


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