Sustainable valorization of sugarcane leaves for succinic acid and biochar production


  • Nuttaporn CHOKESAWATANAKIT Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand
  • Pasakorn JUTAKRIDSADA Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand
  • Khanita KAMWILAISAK Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand



Succinic acid, Biochar, Sugarcane leaves, Hydrolysis, Fermentation


The leaves of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) are agricultural waste that is burnt before harvesting. This project aims to find an alternative way to increase the value of sugarcane leaves and decrease air pollution by using the leaves as raw material to produce succinic acid and biochar. Reducing sugars were extracted from the leaves by H2SO4 hydrolysis. The sugars were then fermented by Yarrowia lipolytica TBRC 4417 to produce succinic acid. The solid residue was used as the raw material for biochar production by pyrolysis. The effects of pyrolysis temperature (350, 400, and 450℃) and nitrogen gas flow rate (5, 10, and 15 Lmin-1) on the specific surface area of biochar were determined. The adsorption capacity of mixed nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compound solution at various concentrations by biochar was also investigated. The hydrolysis condition was at 1%v/v of H2SO4, 100 gL-1 of sugarcane leaves, and hydrolysis time of 60 min. The hydrolysate yielded sugar monomers at a concentration of ca. 13.00 gL-1 of xylose and 2.00 gL-1 of glucose. The fermentation process of extracted reducing sugar from sugarcane leaves by Yarrowia lipolytica TBRC 4417 was studied at 30℃ for 84 h. with 120 rpm shaking. It was found that Yarrowia lipolytica TBRC 4417 produced succinic acid in glucose, mixed glucose and xylose, and extracted reducing sugars. The maximum succinic acid yield of 0.061 g succinic acid /g sugar consumption was obtained. For biochar production, the maximum specific surface area of 301.19 m2g-1 was found at a pyrolysis temperature of 400℃ and the N2 gas flow rate of 10 Lmin-1. The maximum adsorption capacity of the mixed solution was 28.45 wt%. The adsorption capacity of biochar was N>P>K at a total concentration of 100 mgL-1. This study demonstrates the agricultural waste's potential value as a useful feedstock for the biological generation of succinic acid and biochar.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Nuttaporn CHOKESAWATANAKIT, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand

Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University,

Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand

Pasakorn JUTAKRIDSADA, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand

 Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University,

Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand


P. Plangklang, A. Reungsang, and S. Pattra, "Enhanced bio-hydrogen production from sugarcane juice by immobilized Clostridium butyricum on sugarcane bagasse," International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 37, pp. 15525-15532, 2012.

D. L. Jones, "Potential air emission impacts of cellulosic ethanol production at seven demonstration refineries in the United States," Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, vol. 60, pp. 1118-1143, 2010.

L. Guicai, L. Yanfen, G. Shaode, M. Xiaoqian, Z. Chengcai, and W. Jie, "Thermal behavior and kinetics of municipal solid waste during pyrolysis and combustion process," Applied Thermal Engineering, vol. 98, pp. 400-408, 2016.

V. Mugica-Álvarez, F. Hernández-Rosas, M. Magaña-Reyes, J. Herrera-Murillo, N. S. L. Rosa, M. Gutiérrez-Arzaluz, J. J. Figueroa-Lara, and G. González-Cardoso, "Sugarcane burning emissions: Characterization and emission factors," Atmospheric Environment, vol. 193, pp. 262-272, 2018.

M. Preshanthan and K. E. B. Guegulm, "Optimization of xylose and glucose production from sugarcane leaves (Saccharum officinarum) using hybrid pretreatment techniques and assessment for hydrogen generation at semi-pilot scale," International journal of hydrogen energy, vol. 40, pp. 3859-3867, 2015.

H. Y. Bing and F. Yao, "Hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose by solid acid catalysts," Green Chemistry, vol. 15, pp. 1095-1111, 2013.

P. Jutakridsada, K. Saengprachatanarug, P. Kasemsiri, S. Hiziroglu, K. Kamwilaisak, and P. Chindaprasirt, "Bioconversion of saccharum officinarum leaves for ethanol production using separate hydrolysis and fermentation processes," Waste and Biomass Valorization, vol. 10, pp. 817-825, 2019.

P. Chen, S. Tao, and P. Zheng, "Efficient and repeated production of succinic acid by turning sugarcane bagasse into sugar and support," Bioresource Technology, vol. 211, pp. 406-413, 2016.

K. L. Ong, C. Li, X. Li, Y. Zhang, J. Xu, and C. S. K. Lin, "Co-fermentation of glucose and xylose from sugarcane bagasse into succinic acid by Yarrowia lipolytica," Biochemical Engineering Journal, vol. 148, pp. 108-115, 2019.

A. Demirbaş and G. Arin,"An overview of biomass pyrolysis," Energy Sources, vol. 24, pp. 471-482, 2002.

M. K. Bahng, C. Mukarakate, D. J. Robichaud, and M. R. Nimlos, "Current technologies for analysis of biomass thermochemical processing: A review," Analytica Chimica Acta, vol. 651, pp. 117-138, 2009.

P.T.Sharpe, Laboratory techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology. Amsterdam: Oxford North-Holland Pub Co., 1988.

S. S. T. Hua, B. J. Hernlem, W. Yokoyama, and S. B. L. Sarreal, "Intracellular trehalose and sorbitol synergistically promoting cell viability of a biocontrol yeast, Pichia anomala, for aflatoxin reduction," World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 31, pp. 729-734, 2015.

D. Hong, G. Lee, N. C. Jung, and M. Jeon, "Fast automated yeast cell counting algorithm using bright-field and fluorescence microscopic images," Biological procedures online, vol. 15, pp. 1-8, 2013.

S. M. Lloret, J. V. Andrés, C. M. Legua, and P. C. Falcó, "Determination of ammonia and primary amine compounds and Kjeldahl nitrogen in water samples with a modified Roth's fluorimetric method," Talanta, vol. 65, pp. 869-875, 2005.

T. J. Mathews, B. B. Looney, A. L. Bryan, J. G. Smith, C. L. Miller, G. R. Southworth, and M. J. Peterson, "The effects of a stannous chloride-based water treatment system in a mercury contaminated stream," Chemosphere, vol. 138, pp. 190-196, 2015.

C. Trigo, L. Cox, and K. Spokas, "Influence of pyrolysis temperature and hardwood species on resulting biochar properties and their effect on azimsulfuron sorption as compared to other sorbents," Science of the Total Environment, vol. 566, pp. 1454-1464, 2016.

S. Suman and S. Guatam, "Pyrolysis of coconut husk biomass: Analysis of its biochar properties," Energy Sources Part A: Recovery Utilization and Environmental Effects, vol. 39, pp. 761-767, 2017.

M. Fengfeng, B. Zhao, and J. Diao, "Adsorption of cadmium by biochar produced from pyrolysis of corn stalk in aqueous solution," Water Science and Technology, vol. 74, pp. 1335-1345, 2016.

N. Sellin, D. R. Krohl, C. Marangoni, and O. Souza, "Oxidative fast pyrolysis of banana leaves in fluidized bed reactor," Renewable Energy, vol. 96, pp. 56-64, 2016.

H. C. Tao, H. R. Zhang, J. B. Li, and W. Y. Ding, "Biomass based activated carbon obtained from sludge and sugarcane bagasse for removing lead ion from wastewater," Bioresource Technology, vol. 192, pp. 611-617, 2015.

L. Leng, S. Xu, R. Liu, T. Yu, X. Zhao, S. Leng, Q. Xiong, and H. Huang, "Nitrogen containing functional groups of biochar: An overview," Bioresource Technology, vol. 298, pp. 122286, 2020.

R. Chintala, T. E. Schumacher, L. M. McDonald, D. E. Clay, D. D. Malo, S. K. Papiernik, S. A. Clay, and J. L. Julson, "Phosphorus sorption and availability from biochars and soil/biochar mixtures," CLEAN – Soil Air Water, vol. 42, pp. 626-634, 2014.

I. Y. Mohammed, Y. A. Abakr, F. K. Kazi, S. Yusuf, I. Alshareef, and S. A. Chin, "Pyrolysis of Napier grass in a fixed bed reactor: effect of operating conditions on product yields and characteristics," BioResources, vol. 10, pp. 6457-6478, 2015.

E. H. El-Gamal, M. Saleh, I. Elsokkary, M. Rashad, and M. Abd El-Latif, "Comparison between properties of biochar produced by traditional and controlled pyrolysis," Alexandria Science Exchange Journal, vol. 38, pp. 412-425, 2017.

F. Rouquerol, J. Rouquerol, and K. Sing, Adsorption By Powders and Porous Solids: Principles, Methodology, and Applications, Cambridge: Academic Press Ltd., 1999.

M. B. Yahia, Y. B. Torkia, S. Knani, M. A. Hachicha, M. Khalfaoui, and A. B. Lamine, "Models for Type VI adsorption isotherms from a statistical mechanical formulation," Adsorption Science & Technology, vol. 31, pp. 341-357, 2013.

H. Rens, T. Bera, and A. K. Alva, "Effects of biochar and biosolid on adsorption of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in two soils," Water Air & Soil Pollution, vol. 229, pp. 281, 2018.

A. Uttran, S. K. Loh, S. Kong, and R. T. Bachmann, "Adsorption of npk fertiliser and humic acid on palm kernel shell biochar," Journal of oil palm research, vol. 30, pp. 472-484, 2018.




How to Cite

N. . CHOKESAWATANAKIT, P. . JUTAKRIDSADA, and K. KAMWILAISAK, “Sustainable valorization of sugarcane leaves for succinic acid and biochar production”, J Met Mater Miner, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 46–53, Jun. 2021.



Original Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)