Steam explosion pretreatment for enhancing biogas production of late harvested hay

Alexander Bauer, Alexander Bauer, Javier Lizasoain, Javier Lizasoain, Franz Theuretzbacher, Jane Wittrup Agger, María Rincón, Simona Menardo, Simona Menardo, Molly K. Saylor, Ramón Enguídanos, Paal J. Nielsen, Antje Potthast, Thomas Zweckmair, Andreas Gronauer, Svein J. Horn

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Grasslands are often abandoned due to lack of profitability. Extensively cultivating grassland for utilization in a biogas-based biorefinery concept could mend this problem. Efficient bioconversion of this lignocellulosic biomass requires a pretreatment step. In this study the effect of different steam explosion conditions on hay digestibility have been investigated. Increasing severity in the pretreatment induced degradation of the hemicellulose, which at the same time led to the production of inhibitors and formation of pseudo-lignin. Enzymatic hydrolysis showed that the maximum glucose yields were obtained under pretreatment at 220. °C for 15. min, while higher xylose yields were obtained at 175. °C for 10. min. Pretreatment of hay by steam explosion enhanced 15.9% the methane yield in comparison to the untreated hay. Results indicate that hay can be effectively converted to methane after steam explosion pretreatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBioresource Technology
Pages (from-to)403-410
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofuel
  • Biogas
  • Hay
  • Methane
  • Steam explosion


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