Effect of Hydrothermal Pretreatment of Corn Stover with pH Adjustment on Properties of Pulp and Hydrolysate

Junjun Kong, Ling Zhang, Ziyi Niu, Rina Wu, Gaosheng Wang


In view of environmental and economic issues, co-production technology with pulp as the major product is an important developmental direction in biorefinery. In this paper, high-yield pulp was prepared by hydrothermal pretreatment with controlled pH and subsequent mechanical refining using corn stover as raw material. By adding acetic acid or sodium hydroxide, the properties of the hydrolysate and the pulp were altered. Reducing the pH during hydrothermal pretreatment resulted in more cellulose and hemicellulose being released, while less lignin was released. Increased pH led to more lignin being released, while dissolution of carbohydrates did not change significantly. A maximum pulp yield at pH 5.84 of hydrolysate was obtained when 3.0% sodium hydroxide was used. The strength of pulp is highly related to the removal of lignin during hydrothermal pretreatment. The relationship between pH value in hydrothermal pretreatment and the physical properties of the pulp was established and could be further used for prediction and as guidance for process control. Moreover, the results could be used to develop technologies for industrial utilization of agricultural straw to co-generate fiber and other bio-based products.


Agricultural straw; Corn stover; Hydrothermal pretreatment; Pulp; Strength properties

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