Comparison of Different Mechanical Refining Technologies on the Enzymatic Digestibility of Low Severity Acid Pretreated Corn Stover

Xiaowen Chen, Erik Kuhn, Wei Wang, Sunkyu Park, Keith Flanegan, Olev Trass, Lisette Tenlep, Ling Tao, Melvin Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The effect of mechanical refining on the enzymatic digestibility of pretreated corn stover (PCS) was investigated. Low severity, dilute sulfuric acid PCS was subjected to mechanical refining using a bench-scale food processor blender, a PFI mill, a 12-inch laboratory disk refiner, and a 25. mm co-rotating twin-screw extruder. Glucose yields from enzymatic hydrolysis were improved by 10-15% after blending and disk refining, while PFI refining and twin-screw extrusion showed a glucose yield improvement of 16-20%. A pilot scale refining test using a Szego mill was performed and showed approximately 10% improvements in biomass digestibility. This suggests the possibility to scale up a mechanical refining technique to obtain similar enzymatic digestibility glucose yield enhancement as achieved by PFI milling and extrusion technologies. Proposed mechanisms of each mechanical refining technology are presented and reasons for improvements in biomass digestibility are discussed in this paper.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)401-408
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume147
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-57663

Keywords

  • Biomass saccharification
  • Biorefinery
  • Mechanical refining
  • Pretreatment

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