Fractionation of Pinus radiata wood by combination of steam explosion and organosolv delignification


  • Camila María Imlauer-Vedoya
  • Priscila Vergara-Alarcón
  • María Cristina Area
  • Esteban Revilla
  • Fernando Esteban Felissia
  • Juan Carlos Villar


Biomass, enzymatic hydrolysis, lignins, pretreatment, radiata pine


This work proposes a sequential combination of steam explosion and organosolv delignification for Pinus radiata fractionation. An efficient pretreatment to fully optimize the use of lignocellulosic materials is the key to make a biorefinery profitable, especially for softwoods, known to be more recalcitrant than other lignocellulosic raw materials. Steam explosion has a dual effect on biomass as morphological and chemical
changes are introduced. A delignifying stage has been stated to be necessary in order to ease hydrolytic enzymes accessibility to cellulose while avoiding non-productive bonds with the lignin present. Three steam explosion conditions were tested (170°C, 5 min; 180°C, 10 min; 170°C, 5+5 min) followed by an organosolv delignification stage, carried out at two different conditions (170°C, 60 min; 170°C, 90 min). All treatment
yields, delignification extent, and hydrolysis yields were determined to evaluate each stage. The steam explosion treatment did not produce high delignification extent. Maximum global delignification (50,4%) was achieved when combining the two-cycle steam explosion with the most severe post-treatment condition tested. Enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulosic residue improved after organosolv delignification; however, hydrolysis
yields did not exceed 35%. The chemical changes undergone by softwood lignins are presumably responsible for the low digestibility.


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How to Cite

Imlauer-Vedoya, C. M., Vergara-Alarcón, P., Area, M. C., Revilla, E., Felissia, F. E., & Villar, J. C. (2019). Fractionation of Pinus radiata wood by combination of steam explosion and organosolv delignification. Maderas-Cienc Tecnol, 21(4), 587–598. Retrieved from