A New Environmentally Friendly Acid for Hydrolysis of Celluloses


    Current methods for cellulose hydrolysis have serious setbacks that impede progress in ethanol production from biomass. Researchers at UT Dallas have developed a novel, minimally corrosive acid that can be used in place of the caustic chemicals that are currently used. By using this new organic acid, commercial acid hydrolysis can be undertaken without the need for expensive, corrosion-resistant alloy equipment. Additionally, there is less safety hazards to employees: this method does not use volatile acids and contents do not need to be treated as hazardous materials nor require special disposal procedures. Adopting this acid for cellulose hydrolysis would not only reduce safety risks and disposal costs, but simultaneously increase the overall hydrolytic efficiency.

Figure 1: Approximately 0.1 grams of aluminum were weighed and placed in to 5 mL solutions of HCl or UTD acid. Decomposition was calculated by percent weight in grams lost.


Value Proposition:

Reduces costs and risks associated with current acids used in production of bioethanol while increasing relative product yield.



  • Bioethanol production - Pretreatment for cellulosic biomass


Key Benefits:

  • Safe - Acid does not have to be treated as a hazardous chemical, reducing disposal costs and employee risk
  • Less Corrosive - Significantly less corrosive than current acid pretreatments, eliminating the need for expensive alloys
  • Reduced Cost - Does not require buffering, eliminates need for expensive corrosion-resistant alloy equipment
  • Efficient - Resulted in better sugar yield at milder temperatures than even for HCl



Duck Joo Yang, Ph.D. - Profile

Matthew Fiala


IP Status: United States patent 9,770,045 issued on September 26, 2017.

Licensing Opportunity: This technology is available for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing.

ID Number: MP-15015

Contact: otc@utdallas.edu

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
OTC Licensing
Duck Joo (dj) Yang
Matthew Fiala
Energy, Cleantech & Environmental
Industrial & Manufacturing
Renewable Energy
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