The increased awareness for eco-friendliness and sustainability has shifted the interest of stakeholders from synthetic colors to natural plant-based pigments. In this study, purple stemmed Miscanthus x giganteus was evaluated as a source of anthocyanins. Hydrothermal pretreatment was studied as a green, chemical-free process for recovering maximum anthocyanins in the pretreatment liquor. The highest recovery of 94.3 ± 1.5% w/w of the total anthocyanin concentration was obtained for a temperature and time combination of 170 °C and 10 min. The pretreatment also improved the enzymatic digestibility of the biomass and led to a 2.1-fold increase in the overall recovery of glucose (70.6 ± 0.5% w/w) at the end of 72 h. The sugar monomers obtained after the enzymatic hydrolysis of the pretreated biomass could be used for the production of biofuels or biochemicals in an integrated biorefinery based on purple-stemmed miscanthus. Overall, this study demonstrates that the clean pretreatment method developed could lead to an additional product stream (rich in anthocyanins) along with its effect in reducing the recalcitrance of miscanthus biomass.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Building and Construction
- Environmental Science(all)
- Strategy and Management
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering