Effect of Physicochemical Pretreatments and Enzymatic Hydrolysis on Corn Straw Degradation and Reducing Sugar Yield

Weiwei Huang, Erzhu Wang, Juan Chang, Ping Wang, Qingqiang Yin, Chaoqi Liu, Qun Zhu, Fushan Lu

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.

Keywords


Corn straw; Physicochemical pretreatment; Enzymatic hydrolysis; Reducing sugar yield; Ultramicroscopic structure

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