This study investigated pilot-scale production of xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) and fermentable sugars from Miscanthus using steam explosion (SE) pretreatment. SE conditions (200 °C; 15 bar; 10 min) led to XOS yields up to 52 % (w/w) of initial xylan in the hydrolysate. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry demonstrated that the solubilised XOS contained bound acetyl- and hydroxycinnamate residues, physicochemical properties known for high prebiotic effects and anti-oxidant activity in nutraceutical foods. Enzymatic hydrolysis of XOS-rich hydrolysate with commercial endo-xylanases resulted in xylobiose yields of 380 to 500 g/kg of initial xylan in the biomass after only 4 h, equivalent to ∼74 to 90 % conversion of XOS into xylobiose. Fermentable glucose yields from enzymatic hydrolysis of solid residues were 8 to 9-fold higher than for untreated material. In view of an integrated bio-refinery, we demonstrate the potential for efficient utilisation of Miscanthus for the production of renewable sources, including biochemicals and biofuels
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- Pilot-scale production of xylo-oligosaccharides and fermentable sugars from Miscanthus using steam explosion pretreatment
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