Enzymatic digestion of corncobs pretreated with low strength of sulfuric acid for bioethanol production
In this study, the effect and the optimum pretreatment condition of corncobs using low strength of H"2SO"4 were investigated, in which H"2SO"4 was used to improve the enzymatic digestibility of corncobs for saccharification without degradation of sugars released. The optimum pretreatment condition was found to be the addition of 0.5% (vol./vol.) H"2SO"4 and autoclaving at 122^oC for 20min. Under this condition, the structural integrity of corncob was altered to make cellulose microfibrils more accessible for cellulase enzymes, and the enzymatic digestion of corncobs could be significantly enhanced. A high yield of sugar, 80% (wt./wt.), could be obtained at a low enzyme dosage of 0.024g enzymes/g cobs, when pretreated. As a result, the ethanol production was obviously improved by the pretreatment, i.e., the ethanol yield of 77% (wt./wt.) was obtained within 36h in the SSF fermentation using Saccharomyces cerevisiae NBRC2114.
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