Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dane W. Scott

Committee Members

Robert Standaert, Dr. Aleksey N. Vasiliev


Hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass is an important and ongoing subject of research due to generating precursors for biofuel synthesis. This work involves hydrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose and Arundo donax to glucose. Methods for acid hydrolysis include the use of sulfuric acid, phosphomolybdic acid, blue molybdenum using low concentrations at 40-100 °C. For comparison purposes, enzymatic hydrolysis was also carried out using cellulase. Products were quantified by measuring total organic carbon and reducible sugars using dinitrosalicylic acid. Use of phosphomolybdic acid, blue molybdenum and sulfuric acid even at 6.0 M did not increase the amount of glucose compared to using water only. Interestingly, enzymatic hydrolysis of powdered Arundo donax without pretreatment was successful and resulted in statistically similar amounts of glucose compared to using microcrystalline cellulose. Efforts are ongoing to understand the enzyme kinetics in the hydrolysis of Arundo donax and potentially increase the yield of glucose using chemical and microbiological pretreatment.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.