Pretreatment on Corn Stover with Low Concentration of Formic Acid

Jian Xu, Mette Hedegaard Thomsen, Anne Belinda Thomsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Bioethanol derived from lignocellulosic biomass has the potential to replace gasoline. Cellulose is naturally recalcitrant to enzymatic attack, and it also surrounded by the matrix of xylan and lignin, which enhances the recalcitrance. Therefore, lignocellulosic materials must be pretreated to make the cellulose easily degraded into sugars and further fermented to ethanol. In this work, hydrothermal pretreatment on corn stover at 195 degrees for 15 min with and without lower concentration of formic acid was compared in terms of sugar recoveries and ethanol fermentation. For pretreatment with formic acid, the overall glucan recovery was 89% and pretreatment without formic acid yielded the recovery of 94%. Compared with glucan, xylan was more sensitive to the pretreatment condition. The lowest xylan recovery of 55% was obtained after pretreatment with formic acid and the highest of 75% found following pretreatment without formic acid. Toxicity tests of liquor parts showed that there were no inhibitions found for both pretreatment conditions. After simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) of the pretreated corn stover with Baker's yeast, the highest ethanol yield of 76.5% of the theoretical was observed from corn stover pretreated at 195 degrees for 15min with formic acid.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)845-850
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Bio energy
    • Bioenergy and biomass


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