The increasing worldwide demand for energy combined with the depletion of fossil fuel reserves and concerns about climate change, have increased the interest in the production of fuels from renewable energy sources. Lignocellulosic biomass has considerable potential as feedstock for the production of biofuels and biochemicals, contributing to decreasing carbon dioxide emissions, one of the drivers of climate change.
The global production of cereals straw, a by-product left after grain harvest, represents an abundant source of biomass for lignocellulosic-based biorefineries. The conversion of the lignocellulosic biomass to final biobased products such as alcohols mainly requires a three-steps process: 1) pretreatment; 2) acid or enzymatic hydrolysis; 3) fermentation. An efficient digestibility of the lignocellulosic materials is fundamental for the overall feasibility of any final bioproduct.
In the present work a set of durum wheat genotypes, selected from a germplasm collection, was used to analyze some phenotypic traits and biochemical aspects of the cell wall. These characteristics were correlated with the their enzymatic digestability. The main objective was to identify the most profitable genotype(s) to be used as feedstock for bioethanol production.
A significant variability was observed within genotypes in the release of sugars after enzymatic hydrolysis. The results evidenced that the lignin content was the major component of the cell wall determining recalcitrance to the enzymatic process. As for association to phenotypic traits, positive correlations were found with plant height and uronic acids content. The possible role of other cell wall components is also discussed.
Published Date: 2020-10-20;