Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 172, Issue 2, pp 840–853 | Cite as

Perspective and Prospective of Pretreatment of Corn Straw for Butanol Production



Corn straw, lignocellulosic biomass, is a potential substrate for microbial production of bio-butanol. Bio-butanol is a superior second generation biofuel among its kinds. Present researches are focused on the selection of butanol tolerant clostridium strain(s) to optimize butanol yield in the fermentation broth because of toxicity of bio-butanol to the clostridium strain(s) itself. However, whatever the type of the strain(s) used, pretreatment process always affects not only the total sugar yield before fermentation but also the performance and growth of microbes during fermentation due to the formation of hydroxyl-methyl furfural, furfural and phenolic compounds. In addition, the lignocellulosic biomasses also resist physical and biological attacks. Thus, selection of best pretreatment process and its parameters is crucial. In this context, worldwide research efforts are increased in past 12 years and researchers are tried to identify the best pretreatment method, pretreatment conditions for the actual biomass. In this review, effect of particle size, status of most common pretreatment method and enzymatic hydrolysis particularly for corn straw as a substrate is presented. This paper also highlights crucial parameters necessary to consider during most common pretreatment processes such as hydrothermal, steam explosion, ammonia explosion, sulfuric acid, and sodium hydroxide pretreatment. Moreover, the prospective of pretreatment methods and challenges is discussed.


Bio-butanol Corn straw Particle size Pretreatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nawa Raj Baral
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiangzheng Li
    • 1
  • Ajay Kumar Jha
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, School of Municipal and Environmental EngineeringHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, Institute of EngineeringTribhuvan UniversityKathmanduNepal

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