[en] Steam explosion is a thermomechanochemical process which allows the breakdown of lignocellulosic structural components by steam heating, hydrolysis of glycosidic bonds by organic acid formed during the process and shearing forces due to the expansion of the moisture. The process is composed of two distinct stages: vapocracking and explosive decompression. Cumul effects of both phases include modification of the physical properties of the material (specific surface area, water retention capacities, color, cellulose crystallinity rate,…), hydrolysis of hemicellulosic components (mono and oligosaccharides released) and modification of the chemical structure of lignin. These effects permit the opening of lignocellulosic structures and increase the enzymatic hydrolysis rate of cellulose components in the aim to obtain fermentable sugars used in second generation biofuels process.
Région wallonne : Direction générale des Technologies, de la Recherche et de l'Energie - DGTRE