Variations in Physicochemical Properties and Bioconversion Efficiency of Ulva lactuca Polysaccharides After Different Biomass Pretreatment Techniques

Mohamed Amine Jmel, Nico Anders, Nesrine Ben Yahmed, Christian Schmitz, M Nejib Marzouki, Antje Spiess, Issam Smaali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Web of Science)


Green macroalgae are an abundant and undervalued biomass with a specific cell wall structure. In this context, different pretreatments, namely ethanol organosolv (Org), alkaline, liquid hot water (LHW), and ionic liquid (IL) pretreatments, were applied to the green macroalgae Ulva lactuca biomass and then evaluated. Their effects on chemical composition, biomass crystallinity, enzymatic digestibility, and theoretical ethanol potential were studied. The chemical composition analysis showed that the Org and LHW pretreatments allowed the highest glucan recovery (80.8 ± 3.6 and 62.9 ± 4.4 g/100 g DM, respectively) with ulvan (80.0 and 99.1%) and hemicellulose (55.0 and 42.3%) removal. These findings were in agreement with both thermogravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopy results that confirm significant structural changes of the pretreated biomasses. It was found that the employed pretreatments did not significantly affect the cellulose crystallinity; however, they both increased the whole crystallinity and the enzymatic digestibility. This later reached 97.5% in the case of LHW pretreatment. Our results showed high efficiency saccharification of Ulva lactuca biomass that will constitute the key step of the implementation of a biorefinery process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-793
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Biomass
  • Glucans/chemistry
  • Polysaccharides/chemistry
  • Ulva/chemistry

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