Efficient conversion of cornstalk to bioethanol using dilute H2SO4 pretreatment

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Corn stalk (CS) is one of the most abundant agricultural residues containing high polysaccharides for low-cost bioethanol production. In this study, dilute acid along with intensified thermal pretreatment of CS and other parameters were optimized for higher yield of bioethanol. CS samples were pretreated using H2SO4 concentrations of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5% at 100 °C for 1 h reaction time. Optimal conditions of 2% acid-pretreated CS, 5% (w/v) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae addition and 48 h fermentation produced highest yield of bioethanol: 32.53 (g/L) which was 1.24-fold increase. Hemicellulose degradation of 75.68% was recorded in the 2% acid-treated substrate. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images revealed induced porosity and surface area disruption of CS in the treated samples. Crystallinity of the treated samples increased as shown by X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Low concentrated H2SO4 coupled with thermal pretreatment could be a viable method of lignocellulosic biomass utilization for efficient bioethanol production.

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We are grateful to the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) and Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) for awarding the COMSAT-BCSIR post-doctoral fellowship to Dr Adekunle E.A.

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Correspondence to Abiodun E. Adekunle or Md Saiful Islam.

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Jehadin, F., Rabeya, T., Asad, M.A. et al. Efficient conversion of cornstalk to bioethanol using dilute H2SO4 pretreatment. Int J Energy Environ Eng (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40095-020-00366-w

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  • Bioethanol
  • Acid pretreatment
  • Biofuel
  • Corn stalk
  • Fermentation