Subcritical Water as Pretreatment Technique for Bioethanol Production from Brewer's Spent Grain within a Biorefinery Concept


Bioeconomy and environmental issues envisage industrial by-products such as Brewer's spent grain (BSG) as renewable resources for their recycling and reuse within a biorefinery concept. This study aimed to investigate the production of bioethanol from subcritical water (subW) pretreated BSG, following the conversion of the BSG biopolymers cellulose and hemicelluloses. The subW pretreatment was performed in a batch reactor at 174 degrees C, during 60 min and 5% (w/v) of dry BSG charge. The behavior of BSG biopolymers under subW pretreatment was monitored by evaluating the chemical composition of the liquid and solid streams and the chemical and structural changes caused in the solid residues by scanning electron microscope (SEM), CHNS elemental analysis and water retention value (WRV). The production of bioethanol from subW-pretreated BSG was assessed by separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF) and also by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) by using the enzymatic cocktail Celluclast 1.5 L (40 FPU/g(solids)) and the yeast Ethanol Red (R). The higher bioethanol productivity (1.073 g.L-1.h(-1)) and concentration (32.18 g/L) were achieved by SSF with higher solids' loading (25%) and following a fed-batch strategy. These results suggest that subcritical water pretreatment is a promising technology for the valorization of BSG as a feedstock for second-generation bioethanol production.



subject category

Polymer Science


Alonso-Riano, P; Amandio, MST; Xavier, AMRB; Beltran, S; Sanz, MT

our authors


This work was supported by the Agencia Estatal de Investigacion (ES) [grant numbers PID2019-104950RB-I00/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, TED2021-129311B-I00 and PDC2022-133443-I00] and the Junta de Castilla y Leon (JCyL) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) [grant number BU050P20]. The P. Alonso-Riano predoctoral contract was funded by JCyL and the European Social Fund (ESF) by ORDEN EDU/556/2019, de 5 de junio. This work was also developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (PT), UIDB/50011/2020, UIDP/50011/2020 & LA/P/0006/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC (PIDDAC).

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