• detoxification;
  • ethanol;
  • corn stover;
  • surfactant



Pretreatment methods used to break down lignocellulose structure lead to the generation of compounds that inhibit ethanol fermentation. Hence, removal of these compounds is essential for improved fermentability. The surfactant-based cloud point extraction (CPE) aqueous two phase system is a new method having the potential for separation and recovery of inhibitors. The present work examines the potential of surfactants-based CPE systems as a detoxification method.


Surfactants L62D and L62LF achieved more than 90% removal of phenolic compounds and less than 20% removal of acetic acid and HMF from a model system when the surfactant concentration was 1% and 5%. With untreated simulated hydrolysate containing inhibitors the fermentation was inhibited completely. Detoxification of the same hydrolysate with L62D (1% and 5%) and L62LF (1% and 5%) showed complete fermentation with high ethanol productivity (0.61 g L-1 h-1). Similarly, the detoxified corn stover hydrolysate showed delayed fermentation. The productivity increased by 30% after detoxification with 1% of the two surfactants and by 100% with 5% of the surfactants (L62D and L62LF).


The new surfactant-based detoxification method significantly improved the fermentability of simulated hydrolysate and corn stover hydrolysate. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry