Impact of hydrothermal pre-treatment to chemical composition, enzymatic digestibility and spatial distribution of cell wall polymers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Ulla Holopainen-Mantila
  • Kaisa Marjamaa
  • Zara Merali
  • Andres Käsper
  • Peter de Bot
  • Anna Stiina Jääskeläinen
  • Keith Waldron
  • Kristiina Kruus
  • Tarja Tamminen

Research units

  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Quadram Institute
  • Biogold OÜ
  • Agrifirm


The effect of hydrothermal pretreatment on chemical composition, microscopic structure and enzymatic digestibility of wheat straw was studied. Wheat straw was pretreated with increasing severity to obtain series of samples with altered chemistry and structure. The hydrothermal pretreatment caused solubilisation of arabinoxylan and phenolic acids and their dimers in a temperature dependent manner with minor effects on the cellulose and Klason lignin content. In the cell wall level, the pretreatment intensified staining of cellulose and relocalised xylan in the cell walls. The distribution, properties and content of the cell wall phenolic compounds was altered as observed with phloroglucinol and autofluorescence imaging. In the enzymatic hydrolysis, the highest yields were obtained from the samples with a low xylan and diferulate content. On the cell wall structural level, the sample with the highest digestibility was observed to have intensified cellulose staining, possibly reflecting the increased accessibility of cellulose.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Hydrolysis, Hydrothermal pretreatment, Lignin, Phenolic acids, Xylan

ID: 32944161