Title: CHARACTERISTICS OF CORN STOVER FOR BIOENERGY Authors
Submitted to: United States-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 2005
Publication Date: October 21, 2005
Citation: Akin, D.E., Morrison III, W.H., Rigsby, L.L., Barton II, F.E., Himmelsbach, D.S., Hicks, K.B. 2005. Characteristics of corn stover for bioenergy. Proceedings of the 34th United States-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources: Food and Agriculture Panel. pp. 136-139. Interpretive Summary: DOE and ARS-USDA have been directed to work together to evaluate the use of plant material, especially lignocellulosic of crop residues, for potential bioethanol sources. This effort is to expand the production of ethanol without impacting corn grain for food and feed. Lignocelluloses, however, must be pre-treated to obtain sugars for conversion to ethanol. Scientists from various locations in ARS evaluated the use of enzymes to pre-treat corn stover for potential co-products and improved availability of sugars for fermentation to ethanol. Results are important in showing the use of environmentally friendly means to upgrade the value of agricultural residues.
Technical Abstract: Fractions of corn (Zea mays L.) stover were characterized for amounts of aromatic compounds and especially esterifed phenolic acids, and response to esterase and cellulase for the potential for conversion to bioethanol. Treatment with a commercial ferulic acid esterase prior to cellulase significantly improved dry weight loss and release of phenolic acids and sugars in most fractions over cellulase alone. Stem pith cells gave up the most phenolic acids with esterase treatment, but leaf blade and sheath fractions were considerably higher in dry weight loss and released sugars. Results identify fractions more appropriate for co-products and bioconversion and those more suitable as residues for soil erosion control.