Shock treatment of corn stover Academic Article uri icon


  • Corn stover digestibility was enhanced via shock treatment. A slurry of lime-treated corn stover was placed in a partially filled closed vessel. From the ullage space, either a shotgun shell was fired into the slurry, or a gas mixture was detonated. Various conditions were tested (i.e., pressures, depth, solids concentrations, gas mixtures). A high pressurization rate (108,000 MPa/s shotgun shells; 4,160,000 MPa/s hydrogen/oxygen detonation) was the only parameter that improved enzymatic digestibility. Stoichiometric propane/air deflagration had a low pressurization rate (37.2 MPa/s) and did not enhance enzymatic digestibility. Without shock, enzymatic conversion of lime-treated corn stover was 0.80 g glucan digested/g glucan fed with an enzyme loading of 46.7 mg protein/g glucan. With shock, the enzyme loading was reduced by ∼2× while maintaining the same conversion. Detonations are extraordinarily fast; rapidly cycling three small vessels (0.575 m3 each) every 7.5 s enables commercially relevant shock treatment (2,000 tone/day). © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 33:815-823, 2017.

author list (cited authors)

  • Bond, A., Rughoonundun, H., Petersen, E., Holtzapple, C., & Holtzapple, M.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • February 2017