Effect of structural features on enzyme digestibility of corn stover
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Corn stover was pretreated with excess calcium hydroxide (0.5 g Ca(OH)2/g raw biomass) in non-oxidative and oxidative conditions at 25, 35, 45, and 55 degrees C. The enzymatic digestibility of lime-treated corn stover was affected by the change of structural features (acetylation, lignification, and crystallization) resulting from the treatment. Extensive delignification required oxidative treatment and additional consumption of lime (up to 0.17 g Ca(OH)2/g biomass). Deacetylation reached a plateau within 1 week and there were no significant differences between non-oxidative and oxidative conditions at 55 degrees C; both conditions removed approximately 90% of the acetyl groups in 1 week at all temperatures studied. Delignification highly depended on temperature and the presence of oxygen. Lignin and hemicellulose were selectively removed (or solubilized), but cellulose was not affected by lime pretreatment in mild temperatures (25-55 degrees C), even though corn stover was contacted with alkali for a long time, 16 weeks. The degree of crystallinity slightly increased from 43% to 60% with delignification because amorphous components (lignin, hemicellulose) were removed. However, the increased crystallinity did not negatively affect the 3-d sugar yield of enzymatic hydrolysis. Oxidative lime pretreatment lowered the acetyl and lignin contents to obtain high digestibility, regardless of crystallinity. The non-linear models for 3-d hydrolysis yields of glucan (Y(g)), xylan (Y(x)), and holocellulose (Y(gx)) were empirically established as a function of the residual lignin (L) for the corn stover pretreated with lime and air.
author list (cited authors)
Kim, S., & Holtzapple, M. T.