Structure and Saccharification of Corn Stover Pretreated with Sulfur Trioxide Micro-Thermal Explosion and Dilute Alkali (STEX-DA)

Zhijiang Dong, Fenghe Li, Huai Wang, Shengsong Deng, Risheng Yao


Due to its different organizational structures, dense hard husk, and loose soft core, corn stover (CS) is more resistant to transformation into monosaccharides for biofuel production in comparison to rice straw or wheat straw. In this paper, before pretreatment with sulfur trioxide micro-thermal explosion and dilute alkali (STEX-DA), CS was cut into 2 cm to 3 cm lengths in the transverse direction and cross opening in the vertical direction. During the process of STEX-DA, the structures of cores of corn stover (CS-C) and husks of corn stover (CS-H) were separately studied via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis. Furthermore, the components content and reducing sugars yield were calculated. The results showed that the CS-C achieved 66.7% of lignin removal rate, and the reducing sugars yield (calculated by original dry weight of straw) was 70.8%, while the CS-H displayed values of 64.7% and 55.3%, respectively. This result indicated that STEX-DA pretreatment could facilitate corn stover usage as a renewable energy source.


Corn stover (CS); Pretreatment; Sulfur trioxide micro-thermal explosion (STEX); Reducing sugars yield; Lignin removal

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