Understanding and Advancing THF Co-solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation (CELF) Pretreatment when Integrated with Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Fermentation

The development of an economically and energetically feasible pretreatment technology to convert a replenishable natural resource in lignocellulosic biomass to a sustainable transportation fuel is necessary. Co-solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation (CELF) pretreatment has been shown to yield very high sugar yields at economically-viable low enzyme loadings not possible with other pretreatments. Additionally, the glucan-rich solids from CELF can be integrated with subsequent processes such as simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) to enhance ethanol production performance. Thus far, the project has been able to achieve sugar yields of 95% of theoretical maximum at a very economically viable enzyme loading of 2 mg protein/g glucan. These significant advantages in biomass pretreatment can be significantly augmented by realizing the proposed objective of converting extracted lignin from post-pretreatment liquid stream to high-value products. Although lignin’s inherent recalcitrance and heterogeneity make it difficult to valorize, some native organisms have evolved metabolic pathways to utilize lignin-derived aromatic molecules as carbon sources. Pseudomonas putida has been demonstrated to be capable of converting p-coumarate, a model lignin-derived compound, into muconic acid for production of nylon and polyurethane with economically promising high yields and titers. CELF pretreatment produces a glucan-rich solid fraction for downstream hydrolysis and fermentation and a liquid stream containing extracted lignin that should be well suited for microbial conversion to value added products. Economically feasible conversion of extracted lignin following CELF pretreatment is essential to sustainable production of transportation fuels from plant biomass.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Dissertation grant. As of Sept 2018, dissertation is being withheld as it contains information on which the author has submitted a patent, both of which were part of the work supported by the NCST. The dissertation should be available in 2019.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $20000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 
  • Performing Organizations:

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 

    University of California, Riverside

    Center for Environmental Research and Technology
    900 University Avenue
    Riverside, CA  United States  92521-0425
  • Principal Investigators:

    Patri, Abhishek

  • Start Date: 20161001
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180430
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01622290
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Sustainable Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC29
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 11 2017 4:13PM