Steam explosion pretreatment of rice straw to improve structural carbohydrates anaerobic digestibility for biomethanation

  • Muhammad Abdul Hanan Siddhu
  • Wanwu Li
  • Yanfeng He
  • Guangqing LiuEmail author
  • Chang ChenEmail author
Research Article


Effectiveness of steam explosion (SE) pretreatment for deconstructing the complex structural carbohydrates (SC) and lignin recalcitrance properties of rice straw (RS) for conjunctive improvement of biofuel yield and waste valorization was evaluated. This work exhibited successful pretreatment of RS at a different pressure (1.2, 1.5, and 1.8 MPa) and retention (3, 6, 9, and 12 min) for enhancement of SC contribution to biomethane production. Regression analysis demonstrated that SE pretreatment efficiency improved at high-temperature and short-retention time for biodegradation of RS. Maximum cumulative methane yield (EMY) achieved 254.8 mL/gvs at 1.2 MPa (3 min) of SE-treated RS with 62.7% of very significant improvement compared with untreated RS (156.6 mL/gvs). Furthermore, solid fraction of xylose, arabinose, cellobiose, glucose, and acid-soluble lignin in SE-treated RS of 1.2 MPa (3 min) were biodegraded by 27.4%, 46.4%, 100%, 48.8%, and 14.1%, respectively, after anaerobic digestion. Therefore, SE pretreatment was an encouraging approach for enhancing SC conversion to biomethane and waste resource to circular economy.


Rice straw Anaerobic digestion Biodegradation Modeling Recalcitrance Steam explosion Treatment 



Anaerobic digestion


Acid-soluble lignin




Carbon to nitrogen ratio


Maximum cumulative methane yield obtained by experiment


Free ammonia nitrogen


Theoretical maximum methane potential




Rice straw


Structural carbohydrates


Steam explosion


Total alkalinity


Total solid


Volatile fatty acids


Volatile solid



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0800801) and China Scholarship Council.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5382_MOESM1_ESM.docx (260 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 259 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemical EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina

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