To meet the increasing need for bioenergy several raw materials have to be considered for the production of e.g. bioethanol and biogas. In this study, three lignocellulosic raw materials were studied, i.e. (1) winter rye straw (Secale cereale L), (2) oilseed rape straw (Brassica napus L.) and (3) faba bean straw (Viciafaba L.). Their composition with regard to cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, extractives and ash was evaluated, as well as their potential as raw materials for ethanol and biogas production. The materials were pretreated by wet oxidation using parameters previously found to be optimal for pretreatment of corn stover (195 degrees C, 15 min, 2 g l(-1) Na2CO3 and 12 bar oxygen). It was shown that pretreatment was necessary for ethanol production from all raw materials and gave increased biogas yield from winter rye straw. Neither biogas productivity nor yield from oilseed rape straw or faba bean straw was significantly affected by pretreatment. Ethanol was produced by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae during simultaneous enzymatic hydrolysis of the solid material after wet oxidation with yields of 66%, 70% and 52% of theoretical for winter rye, oilseed rape and faba bean straw, respectively. Methane was produced with yields of 0.36, 0.42 and 0.441 g(-1) volatile solids for winter rye, oilseed rape and faba bean straw, respectively, without pretreatment of the materials. However, biogas productivity was low and it took over 50 days to reach the final yield. It could be concluded that all three materials are possible raw materials for either biogas or ethanol production; however, improvement of biogas productivity or ethanol yield is necessary before an economical process can be achieved.
Biomass and Bioenergy, 2007, Vol 31, Issue 11-12, p. 812-819