Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Sugars production method from biomass



It is a system for obtaining sugars from specific biomasses. It consists of an extraction column containing the biomass and a column containing a catalyst for the hydrolysis of extracted oligosaccharides. Hot water runs through the two columns in series. The use of ultrasound increases the efficiency of the process, which can be performed at a lower temperature than existing methods.

Technical features

The invention facilitates the extraction of carbohydrates from some roots. Carbohydrates are extracted by hot water. They are then subjected to acid hydrolysis through the use of resins which act as heterogeneous catalysts. Starting from water, contained in a container, a sugar solution is directly obtained in the same container. The two columns, containing respectively the root and the resin, are subjected to ultrasounds, which increase both the extraction efficiency and the hydrolysis yield. Using the prototype system created in the laboratory (TRL 4) it was possible to extract inulin from thistle root and obtain fructose with a yield of 94% (range 150-400), in one hour of process at a temperature of 80 °C. With this system, filtrations and transportations of matter are avoided; furthermore, the product is obtained partially purified.

Possible Applications

  • Production of fructose;
  • Production of xylose from pretreated residual biomass;
  • Basic process for the exploitation of monomeric sugars for the purpose of biofuels and bioplastics.


  • Direct obtaining of monomeric sugars from biomass containing oligomeric carbohydrates;
  • Reduction of the process temperature;
  • Elimination of the filtration steps;
  • Obtaining of partially purified product.