Mass Spectral Analyses of Corn Stover Prehydrolysates to Assess Conditioning Processes

Richard F. Helm, Judith Jervis, W. Keith Ray, Nicholas Willoughby, Benjamin Irvin, Jessica Hastie, Daniel J. Schell, Nick Nagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


Flow injection electrospray (FIE) and LC-tandem mass spectrometry techniques were used to characterize corn stover acid hydrolysates before and after overliming and ammonia conditioning steps. Analyses were performed on samples without fractionation (dilution only) in an effort provide an inventory of ionizable substances. Statistical evaluation of the results indicates that the ammonia-treated and crude hydrolysates were more similar to one another than any other pairing, with conditioning leading to a decrease in malate levels. LC-tandem mass spectrometry studies were also developed to characterize the oligosaccharides present in each hydrolysate utilizing a hydrophilic interaction chromatographic separation method. Neutral and acidic pentose-based oligosaccharides (xylodextrins) with degrees of polymerization between 2 and 5 were quantified with 4-O-methyl glucuronic acid-containing dimer and trimers predominating. Conditioning had little effect on the quantified oligosaccharide pool.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)12642-12649
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-51595


  • Conditioning
  • corn stover
  • limit xylodextrins
  • malate
  • mass spectrometry
  • oligosaccharides


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