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Evaluation of biomass quality in short-rotation bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) for bioenergy products
Seung Gon Wi, Dae-Seok Lee, Quynh Anh Nguyen and Hyeun-Jong Bae
  Biotechnology for Biofuels , 10

In order to improve the availability of biomass, the concept of growing high yield biomass with short rotations and intensive culture has been introduced. Bamboo has become a feedstock of potential interest for future energy production due to its high productivity and short rotation time. The growth age of biomass is an important factor affecting the efficiency of bioconversion and pretreatment for bioenergy production. In this regard, more information is required on the morphology and chemical composition of bamboo for short-rotation biomass production. In this study, we used a compositional assay to compare a bamboo of two different growth ages.


Bamboo of two different ages showed characteristics patterns of morphology, chemical composition, and bioconversion. In young-age (2-month-old) bamboo, the pattern of tissue organization was similar to that of old-age (3-year-old) bamboo, indicating that the former had reached its full height. There were significant differences between young-age and old-age bamboo in terms of chemical composition. The glucose contents in old-age bamboo did not differ significantly among its internodes. For young-age bamboo, the lignin contents were 14.6–18.3%, whereas those of old-age bamboo were considerably higher, ranging from 25.4 to 27.1% with increasing syringyl-to-guaiacyl ratio. The yield of total sugars following enzymatic hydrolysis of young-age bamboo was approximately eight times. However, following hydrogen peroxide–acetic acid pretreatment, the results of separate hydrolysis and fermentation and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation did not differ significantly between young- and old-age bamboo. However, ethanol production was higher in 2-month old than in 3-year old from initial raw biomass.


Our data show that the production of total sugar from raw material was high in young bamboo with low lignin content. With respect to short-rotation biomass, bamboo culm harvested after termination of height growth is more appropriate for use as a biomass resource to achieve a high yield for bioconversion process.

Bamboo – Bioethanol – Biomass – Cell wall composition – Short-rotation biomass