When this Method is the first step in the Analysis Package, the acid hydrolysis takes place on the biomass sample with no prior extraction carried out at Celignis. If previous Steps involving the extraction of the sample have take place then the extracted material is used for the acid hydrolysis.
In the case where three different types of extracted material exist (water-extracted, ethanol-extracted, and water- then ethanol-extracted) then the sample that has undergone both water and ethanol extraction is typically used for acid hydrolysis, unless otherwise requested by the customer.
The following steps are involved in the acid hydrolysis of a sample.
1. The moisture content of the sample is determined, in duplicate.
2. Approximately 300 mg (with the exact weight noted) of the sample is added to a pressure tube.
3. 3.00 mL of 72% H2SO4 is added by means of an automatic titrator, the weight of the acid added is noted.
4. The sample is mixed thoroughly with the acid using a glass rod, care is taken that no sample stays adherent to the sides of the tube, but instead stays in contact with the acid.
5. The tube is transferred to a water bath that is maintained at 30 degrees celcius.
6. Steps 2-5 are repeated for the duplicate sample.
7. Every 10 minutes the glass rod for each pressure tube is stirred so that the acid reaches all parts of the sample and complete hydrolysis occurs. This is a crucial step.
8. Exactly one hour after it is placed in the water bath the pressure tube is removed and placed on a scales and 84 mL of water added (with the weight of the added water recorded). Any acid/sample on the rod is removed from the rod at this point using this water.
9. A lid is screwed on the tube and the tube is inverted several times to ensure thorough mixing of the acid.
10. Two sugar recovery solution (SRS) pressure tubes are prepared in order to monitor the sugar-loss associated with the second-stage-hydrolysis. This involves the following steps:
(a) 348 microlitres of 72% H2SO4 is added to a test tube containing a solution containing a known weight (approximately 10 g) of a sugar standard. This standard should be of a similar sugar composition to that expected of the samples being analysed. The acid and sugar solution are thoroughly mixed.
(b) The sugar-acid mixture is transferred to a pressure tube which is then sealed.
11. All SRS and sample pressure tubes are placed in an autoclave which is run at 121 degrees celcius for 60 minutes.
12. After the temperature in the autoclave drops to under 80C the tubes are removed and are left (closed) in the lab until they reach room temperature.
13. The hydrolysates are then filtered (using vacuum suction) through filter crucibles of known weight and the resulting filtrate is stored.
14. Any residual solids are washed out from the tube using deionised water until all the Acid Insoluble Residue
resides on the filter crucible.