Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 18, pp 7795–7804 | Cite as

Improving enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency of corncob residue through sodium sulfite pretreatment

  • Hang Chen
  • Lifeng Jiang
  • Yi Cheng
  • Jie Lu
  • Yanna Lv
  • Jipeng YanEmail author
  • Haisong WangEmail author
Bioenergy and biofuels


The effects of sodium sulfite pretreatment on the delignification rate, cellulose content, enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency, and glucose yield of corncob residues (CCR) were investigated. The optimum pretreatment conditions were as follows: 12% sodium sulfite, with a pH value of 7, a temperature of 160 °C, and a holding time of 20 min. Under the optimal conditions, the cellulose content in the pretreated residue was 85.17%, and sodium lignosulfonate with a sulfonation degree of 0.677 mmol/g was obtained in the waste liquids. A delignification rate of 77.45% was also achieved after the pretreatment. Enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated CCR was carried out with cellulase (5 FPU/g substrate) and β-glucosidase (10 IU/g substrate) for 48 h. The untreated CCR were hydrolyzed using cellulase (20 FPU/g substrate) and β-glucosidase (10 IU/g substrate) for 48 h. The comparison results showed that sodium sulfite pretreatment improved the enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency and glucose yield, which increased by 28.80% and 20.10%, respectively. These results indicated that despite the application of low cellulase dosage, high enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency substrate could be produced, and the sodium lignosulfonate which can be used for oilfields and concrete additives was obtained from the sodium sulfite–pretreated CCR.


Corncob residues Pretreatment Delignification Enzymatic hydrolysis Lignosulfonate 



The work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31370582 and No. 31770624), the Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning (No. 20170540069), National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2018YFD0400703), the Program for Liaoning Excellent Talents in University (LR2016058) and Liaoning BaiQianWan Talents Program (201945).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Light Industry and Chemical EngineeringDalian Polytechnic UniversityDalianChina
  2. 2.Advanced Biofuel Process Demonstration UnitLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryEmeryvilleUSA

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