Pretreatment of corn fiber by pressure cooking in water
- Cite this article as:
- Weil, J.R., Sarikaya, A., Rau, SL. et al. Appl Biochem Biotechnol (1998) 73: 1. doi:10.1007/BF02788829
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The pretreatment of corn fiber using liquid water at temperatures between 220 and 260°C enhances enzymatic hydrolysis. This paper describes the laboratory reactor system currently in use for cooking of corn fiber at temperatures ranging from 200 to 260°C. The corn fiber at approx 4.4% solid/liquid slurry was treated in a 2-L, 304 SS, Parr reactor with three turbine propeller agitators and a Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID), controller that controlled temperature within ±1°C. Heat-up times to the final temperatures of 220, 240, or 260°C were achieved in 50 to 60 min. Hold time at the final temperature was less than 10 s. A serpentine cooling coil, through which tap water was circulated at the completion of the run, cooled the reactor’s contents to 180°C within 2 min after the maximum temperature was attained. Ports in the reactor’s head plate facilitated sampling of the slurry and monitoring the pH. A continuous pH monitoring system was developed to help observe trends in pH during pretreatment and to assist in the development of a base (2.0M KOH) addition profile to help keep the pH within the range of 5.0 to 7.0. Enzymatic hydrolysis gave 33 to 84% conversion of cellulose in the pretreated fiber to glucose compared to 17% for untreated fiber.