Corn Stover Bioconversion by Green Liquor Pretreatment and a Selected Liquid Fermentation Strategy

Qiulu Chu, Xin Li, Deliang Yang, Yong Xu, Jia Ouyang, Shiyuan Yu, Qiang Yong

Abstract


Green liquor pretreatments and different liquid-fermentation strategies were tested to establish an effective ethanol production process from corn stover. After pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis, 329.7 g of glucose and 126.3 g of xylose were obtained from 1,000 g of dry corn stover. The primary aim of this work was to test the fermentability of the enzymatic hydrolysate of green liquor-pretreated corn stover, for no fermentation has been done on the enzymatic hydrolysate of green liquor-pretreated corn stover before. Three liquid-fermentation strategies, including sequential fermentation, co-fermentation, and co-culture, were carried out and compared to select an appropriate fermentation strategy from green liquor-pretreated corn stover. Among the different liquid-fermentation strategies, sequential fermentation yielded the highest ethanol production (210.7 g ethanol/1,000 g corn stover). Using the sequential fermentation strategy, glucose fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and ethanol distillation was completed prior to xylose fermentation by Pichia stipitis, so that the separate utilization of glucose and xylose ensured that each fermentation stage used the suitable microorganism, permitting high ethanol yields. Sequential fermentation was thus considered to be the most promising liquid-fermentation strategy for ethanol production from green liquor-pretreated corn stover.

Keywords


Ethanol production; Green liquor pretreatment; Liquid fermentation strategies; Co-fermentation; Co-culture; Sequential fermentation

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