Microbial Pretreatment of Corn Stover for Improved Enzymatic Saccharification and Ethanol Production
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Series/Report no.:Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering. Graduate student poster competition, 2009
Microbial pretreatment is considered to be an environmentally friendly and energy saving method to remove lignin from lignocellulosic biomass for improved cellulose conversion. In this study, pretreatment of corn stover with the white rot fungus Ceriporiopsis subvermispora was found to preferentially degrade lignin with a limited loss of cellulose. The maximum selectivity (defined as the ratio of lignin degradation over cellulose degradation) reached 6.16 after 35 days of pretreatment. Microscopic observation indicated that the cell wall was modified by fungal attack. The treated corn stover resulted in significant improvement of enzymatic hydrolysis and ethanol yield, which was about four times higher than that of non-treated corn stover. No inhibitor to ethanol fermentation was formed during microbial pretreatment. This is the first report of microbial pretreatment of corn stover for its conversion to ethanol by selective delignification with C. subvermispora, which has great potentials for developing an economically feasible and environmentally benign pretreatment process for ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass.
the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Seeds Grant Program.
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