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Huang, W., Wang, E., Chang, J., Wang, P., Yin, Q., Liu, C., Zhu, Q., and Lu, F. (2017). "Effect of physicochemical pretreatments and enzymatic hydrolysis on corn straw degradation and reducing sugar yield," BioRes. 12(4), 7002-7015.

Abstract

Straw lignocelluloses were converted to reducing sugar for possible use for bioenergy production via physicochemical pretreatments and enzymatic hydrolysis. The experiment was divided into 2 steps. The first step focused on breaking the crystal structure and removing lignin in corn straw. The lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose degradation rates observed were 92.2%, 73.7%, and 4.6%, respectively, after corn straw was treated with sodium hydroxide (3% w/w) plus high-pressure steam (autoclave), 74.8%, 72.5%, and 4.3% after corn straw was treated with sodium hydroxide (8%, w/w) plus wet steam explosion, compared with native corn straw (P < 0.05). The second step was enzymatic hydrolysis for the pretreated straw. The enzymatic hydrolysis could yield 576 mg/g reducing sugar and significantly degrade cellulose and hemicellulose contents by 93.3% and 94.4% for the corn straw pretreated with sodium hydroxide plus high-pressure steam. For the corn straw pretreated with sodium hydroxide plus wet steam explosion, the enzymatic hydrolysis could yield 508 mg/g reducing sugar, and degrade cellulose and hemicellulose contents by 83.5% and 84.2%, respectively, compared with the untreated corn straw (P<0.05). Scanning electron microscopy showed that the physicochemical pretreatments plus enzymatic hydrolysis degraded corn straw to many small molecules. Thus, physicochemical pretreatments plus enzymatic hydrolysis converted lignocellulose to reducing sugar effectively.


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