1990-07-01

The Conversion of Lignocellulosics to Fermentable Sugars: A Survey of Current Research and Applications to CELSS 901282

Abstract

This report provides an overview options for converting lignocellulosics into fermentable sugars in CELSS. A requirement for pretreatment is shown. Physical -chemical and enzymatic hydrolysis processes for producing fermentable sugars are discussed. At present physical/chemical methods are the simplest and best characterized options but enzymatic processes will be the likely method of choice in the future. The use of pentose sugars by microorganisms to produce edibles is possible. The use of mycelial food production on pretreated but not hydrolyzed lignocellulosics is also possible. Simple trade-off analyses to regenerate waste lignocellulosics for two pathways are made one of which is compared to complete oxidation. NASA Life Sciences CELSS program should maintain relationships with other government agencies involved in lignocellulosic conversions and utilize their expertise when the actual need for such conversion technology arises rather than develop this expertise separately within NASA.

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