Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corn Stover after Pretreatment with Dilute Sulfuric Acid



Although many previous studies have been carried on the enzymatic hydrolysis of corn stover after pretreatment with dilute sulfuric acid, this paper emphasizes the use of different conditions to attain the highest yields of two sugars, xylose and glucose, from both stages. The pretreatment was performed at a range of sulfuric acid concentrations of 2, 4 and 6 % at 80, 100 and 120 °C. Up to 77 % xylose yield was obtained while the glucose yield was only 8.4 %. The corresponding solid phase was hydrolyzed by cellulase and the influences of five factors and their interactions on enzyme hydrolysis were evaluated by response surface methodology based on one-factor-at-a-time experiments. The optimal levels for each variable to obtain the highest reducing sugar yield were as follows: enzyme concentration of 22 FPU/g substrate, substrate concentration of 77 g/L, temperature of 49 °C, pH 4.8 and reaction time of 38 h. A reducing sugar yield of 42.11 g/100 g substrate was achieved, which was consistent with the predicted value of 42.13 g/100 g substrate. Compared with the one-factor-at-a-time experiments, there was a 9.4 % increase in reducing sugar yield when the enzyme concentration was decreased to 3 FPU/g substrate, the substrate concentration increased to 17 g/L and the reaction time dropped to 22 h. The total sugar released from the two stages was 62.81 g/100 g substrate.