Hydrothermal treatment can be used for the on-farm processing of lignocellulosic materials. This study investigated the hydrothermal treatment of sweet sorghum bagasse (SSB) powder for the extraction of hemicellulose from it. Changes in chemical composition of SSB and the formation of sugars and hydrolytic products were studied. The optimum conditions of 12.54% (g/g) substrate concentration and 90 minutes of isothermal treatment residence time at 394 K were conducive to the extraction of 72.61-72.77% hemicellulose and producing a hydrolysate containing 56.06-63.54 g/L reducing sugars and 5.52-6.80 g/L furfurals. The treated SSB residue contained about 56.30-56.42 % (g/g) cellulose and 31.40-31.43 % (g/g) lignin in it. The substrate concentration and isothermal treatment residence time were significant in the responses observed.
The global economy is showing positive signs of supplementing prevalent fossil resources with bioresources for energy and materials. This transition is accompanied by the development of different biorefinery technologies for large and small scale operations. The small scale biorefinery operation is contrary to the existing large scale petroleum refineries where the distributed processing of raw material is unheard off and impractical. The well designed and smartly integrated small scale biorefinery operation will be economically, environmentally and socially beneficial (Bruins and Sanders 2012). The decentralized pretreatment with centralized