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Options to Determine Uronic Acids in Wood Hydrolysates

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Thermo Fisher Scientific has developed two robust methods to identify uronic acids in acid-hydrolyzed wood samples, with each method using a different specialized anion-exchange column as demonstrated in Application Note 1091: Determination of Uronic Acids and Wood Sugars in Wood-Based Hydrolysates.

Method 1 is a single high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection method that uses a mono- and disaccharide column, the Thermo Scientific™ Dionex™ CarboPac™ PA20 column, for wood sugars and uronic acids. Method 2 is a faster method that uses an oligosaccharide column, the Dionex CarboPac PA200 column, to determine the uronic acids in the acid-hydrolyzed wood samples.

Biomass must undergo various processing steps to create a commercially viable fuel alternative. Wood acid hydrolysates are available year round and are not part of the food supply and thus are a preferred source for biofuel and biochemical production.

Accurate determination of both mono- and disaccharides and the uronic acids in biomass materials is important because compositional analysis enables evaluation of conversion yields as carbohydrate content is directly proportional to bioalcohol yield. Therefore, these new methods of analysis will be extremely useful to help biofuel and biochemical production plants maximize their yield.