Lime pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of corn stover
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Renewable energy sources, such as lignocellulosic biomass, are environmentally friendly because they emit less pollution without contributing net carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Among lignocellulosic biomass, corn stover is a very useful feedstock to economically produce environmentally friendly biofuels. Corn stover was pretreated with an excess of calcium hydroxide (0.5 g Ca(OH)2/g raw biomass) in non-oxidative and oxidative conditions at 25, 35, 45, and 55oC. The optimal condition is 55oC for 4 weeks with aeration, determined by yields of glucan and xylan. The overall yields of glucose (g glucan hydrolyzed/100 g original glucan) and xylose (g xylan hydrolyzed/100 g original xylan) were 91.3 and 51.8 at 15 FPU/g cellulose, respectively. Furthermore, when considering the dissolved fragments of glucan and xylan in the pretreatment liquors, the overall yields of glucose and xylose were 93.2 and 79.5 at 15 FPU/g cellulose, respectively. The pretreatment liquor has no inhibitory effect on ethanol fermentation using Saccharomyces cerevisiae D5A. At the recommended condition, only 0.073 g Ca(OH)2 was consumed per g of raw corn stover. Under extensive delignification conditions, 87.5% of the initial lignin was removed. Extensive delignfication required oxidative treatment and additional lime consumption. Deacetylation quickly reached a plateau within 1 week. Delignification highly depended on temperature and the presence of oxygen. Lignin and hemicellulose were selectively removed, but cellulose was not affected by lime pretreatment in mild temperatures (25 ?? 55oC). The delignification kinetic models of corn stover were empirically determined by three simultaneous first-order reactions. The activation energies for the oxidative delignification were estimated as 50.15 and 54.21 kJ/mol in the bulk and residual phases, respectively. Crystallinity slightly increased with delignification because amorphous components (lignin, hemicellulose) were removed. However, the increased crystallinity did not negatively affect the 3-d sugar yield of enzyme hydrolysis. Oxidative lime pretreatment lowered the acetyl and lignin contents to obtain high digestibility, regardless of crystallinity. The enzymatic digestibility of lime-treated biomass was affected by the change of structural features (acetylation, lignification, and crystallization) resulting from the treatment. The non-linear models for 3-d hydrolysis yields of glucan and xylan were empirically established as a function of the residual lignin fraction for the corn stover pretreated with lime and air.
Kim, Se Hoon (2003). Lime pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of corn stover. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from