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Pretreatment of corn stover by soaking in aqueous ammonia at moderate temperatures


Soaking in aqueous ammonia at moderate temperatures was investigated as a method of pretreatment for enzymatic hydrolysis as well as simultaneous saccharification and cofermentation (SSCF) of corn stover. The method involves batch treatment of the feedstock with aqueous ammonia (15–30 wt%) at 40–90°C for 6–24 h. The optimum treatment conditions were found to be 15 wt% of NH3, 60°C, 1 : 6 of solid-to-liquid ratio, and 12 h of treatment time. The treated corn stover retained 100% glucan and 85% of xylan, but removed 62% of lignin. The enzymatic digestibility of the glucan content increased from 17 to 85% with 15 FPU /g-glucan enzyme loading, whereas the digestibility of the xylan content increased to 78%. The treated corn stover was also subjected to SSCF test using Spezyme-CP and recombinant Escherichia coli (KO11). The SSCF of the soaking in aqueous ammonia treated corn stover resulted in an ethanol concentration of 19.2 g/L from 3% (w/v) glucan loading, which corresponds to 77% of the maximum theoretical yield based on glucan and xylan.

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Correspondence to Y. Y. Lee.

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Kim, T.H., Lee, Y.Y. Pretreatment of corn stover by soaking in aqueous ammonia at moderate temperatures. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 137, 81–92 (2007).

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Index Entries

  • Biofuel
  • bioethanol
  • biomass conversion
  • simultaneous saccharification and cofermentation
  • hemicellulose
  • lignin