High Temperature Pre-Digestion of Corn Stover Biomass for Improved Product Yields

Roman Brunecky, Sarah Hobdey, Ling Tao, Michael Himmel, Steve Decker, Larry Taylor, Melvin Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


Introduction: The efficient conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks remains a key step in the commercialization of biofuels. One of the barriers to cost-effective conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to sugars remains the enzymatic saccharification process step. Here, we describe a novel hybrid processing approach comprising enzymatic pre-digestion with newly characterized hyperthermophilic enzyme cocktails followed by conventional saccharification with commercial enzyme preparations. Dilute acid pretreated corn stover was subjected to this new procedure to test its efficacy. Thermal tolerant enzymes from Acidothermus cellulolyticus and Caldicellulosiruptor bescii were used to pre-digest pretreated biomass at elevated temperatures prior to saccharification by the commercial cellulase formulation. Results: We report that pre-digestion of biomass with these enzymes at elevated temperatures prior to addition of the commercial cellulase formulation increased conversion rates and yields when compared to commercial cellulase formulation alone under low solids conditions. Conclusion: Our results demonstrating improvements in rates and yields of conversion point the way forward for hybrid biomass conversion schemes utilizing catalytic amounts of hyperthermophilic enzymes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number170
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Brunecky et al.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-62534


  • Acidothermus cellulolyticus
  • Biomass
  • Caldicellulosiruptor bescii
  • CelA
  • E1
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis
  • Pretreatment
  • Thermotoga maritima


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