Bioresource Technology, Vol.279, 124-131, 2019
Enhancing delignification and subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis of corn stover by magnesium oxide-ethanol pretreatment
Corn stover pretreatment by MgO-ethanol was investigated to improve sugar recovery by reducing sugar degradation and enhance enzymatic hydrolysis by improving delignification and reducing inhibitor formation. Results showed MgO as an effective additive and Lewis base, functioned to neutralize the acids released from hemicellulose during pretreatment, reduce monosaccharide degradation and inhibitor formation, and enhance delignification. The optimal pretreatment conditions were 50% ethanol, 0.08 mol/L MgO, and 10% solid loading at 190 degrees C for 40 min. Under optimal conditions, 98% glucose and 92% xylose were recovered with 89% glucan and 71% xylan recoveries and 60% lignin removal. A total sugar yield of 63% on a received biomass basis after enzymatic hydrolysis was obtained with 78% glucose and 41% xylose yields. The resulting biomass slurry was near-neutral and free of furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. Thus, the process to isolate high-purity value-added lignin and recover sugars from biomass liquor can be largely simplified.