Conditioning of Dilute-Acid Pretreated Corn Stover Hydrolysate Liquors by Treatment with Lime or Ammonium Hydroxide to Improve Conversion of Sugars to Ethanol

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Abstract

Dilute-acid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass enhances the ability of enzymes to hydrolyze cellulose to glucose, but produces many toxic compounds that inhibit fermentation of sugars to ethanol. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of treating hydrolysate liquor with Ca(OH)2 and NH4OH for improving ethanol yields. Corn stover was pretreated in a pilot-scale reactor and then the liquor fraction (hydrolysate) was extracted and treated with various amounts of Ca(OH)2 or NH4OH at several temperatures. Glucose and xylose in the treated liquor were fermented to ethanol using a glucose-xylose fermenting bacteria, Zymomonas mobilis 8b. Sugar losses up to 10% occurred during treatment with Ca(OH)2, but these losses were two to fourfold lower with NH4OH treatment. Ethanol yields for NH4OH-treated hydrolysate were 33% greater than those achieved in Ca(OH)2-treated hydrolysate and pH adjustment to either 6.0 or 8.5 with NH4OH prior to fermentation produced equivalent ethanol yields.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1240-1245
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume102
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-510-49196

Keywords

  • Ammonium hydroxide
  • Cellulose
  • Conditioning
  • Detoxification
  • Overliming

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