Acetic acid (AA)-catalyzed liquid hot water (LHW) pretreatments on raw corn stover (RCS) were carried out at 195 °C at 15 min with the acetic acid concentrations between 0 and 400 g/kg RCS. After pretreatment, the liquor fractions and water-insoluble solids (WIS) were collected separately and tested in terms of the recoveries of glucan and xylan from both the liquor fractions and the WIS, toxicity level of the liquors, and the convertibility of WIS to ethanol. The highest glucan recoveries was found to be 97.42% and 97.94% when 15 and 30 g AA/kg RCS were employed, respectively. The highest xylan recovery of 81.82% was observed by the pretreatment with 10 g AA/kg RCS. The toxic test on liquors showed that the inhibition effect happened to Baker's yeast when the acetic acid used in the pretreatment was higher than 100 g/kg RCS. The WIS obtained from the pretreatment with 15 g and 30 g/kg RCS were subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis and more easily converted to ethanol by Baker's yeast, which gave the ethanol concentration of 33.72 g/L and 32.06 g/L, respectively, higher than 22.04 g/L which was from the non-catalyzed LHW pretreatment (195 °C, 15 min). The ethanol concentration from the RCS was only 8.02 g/L.
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