Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 37, Issue 12, pp 2425–2436 | Cite as

A novel cleaning process for industrial production of xylose in pilot scale from corncob by using screw-steam-explosive extruder

  • Hong-Jia Zhang
  • Xiao-Guang Fan
  • Xue-Liang Qiu
  • Qiu-Xiang Zhang
  • Wen-Ya WangEmail author
  • Shuang-Xi Li
  • Li-Hong Deng
  • Mattheos A. G. Koffas
  • Dong-Sheng Wei
  • Qi-Peng YuanEmail author
Original Paper


Steam explosion is the most promising technology to replace conventional acid hydrolysis of lignocellulose for biomass pretreatment. In this paper, a new screw-steam-explosive extruder was designed and explored for xylose production and lignocellulose biorefinery at the pilot scale. We investigated the effect of different chemicals on xylose yield in the screw-steam-explosive extrusion process, and the xylose production process was optimized as followings: After pre-impregnation with sulfuric acid at 80 °C for 3 h, corncob was treated at 1.55 MPa with 9 mg sulfuric acid/g dry corncob (DC) for 5.5 min, followed by countercurrent extraction (3 recycles), decoloration (activated carbon dosage 0.07 g/g sugar, 75 °C for 40 min), and ion exchange (2 batches). Using this process, 3.575 kg of crystal xylose was produced from 22 kg corncob, almost 90 % of hemicellulose was released as monomeric sugar, and only a small amount of by-products was released (formic acid, acetic acid, fural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, and phenolic compounds were 0.17, 1.14, 0.53, 0.19, and 1.75 g/100 g DC, respectively). All results indicated that the screw-steam-explosive extrusion provides a more effective way to convert hemicellulose into xylose and could be an alternative method to traditional sulfuric acid hydrolysis process for lignocellulose biorefinery.


Xylose Pilot scale Steam explosion Cleaning process Extrusion 



Screw-steam-explosive extrusion


Dry corncob


Traditional sulfuric acid hydrolysis




Response surface methodology


Analysis of variance


Crystallinity index


High-performance liquid chromatography





We are indebted to the National High-tech Research and Development Program (2012AA022303, 2014AA021906, 2014AA021903) and the National Natural Science Foundation (31170076) for their generous financial supports.

Supplementary material

449_2014_1219_MOESM1_ESM.doc (500 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 499 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hong-Jia Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiao-Guang Fan
    • 1
  • Xue-Liang Qiu
    • 2
  • Qiu-Xiang Zhang
    • 3
  • Wen-Ya Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shuang-Xi Li
    • 3
  • Li-Hong Deng
    • 4
  • Mattheos A. G. Koffas
    • 5
  • Dong-Sheng Wei
    • 6
  • Qi-Peng Yuan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Life Science and TechnologyBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.Research Center of Futaste Pharmaceutical Co. LtdYuchengChina
  3. 3.College of Mechanic and Electronic EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina
  4. 4.College of Material Science and TechnologyBeijing Forest UniversityBeijingChina
  5. 5.Department of Chemical and Biological EngineeringRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  6. 6.Department of Microbiology, College of Life ScienceNankai UniversityTianjinChina

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