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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENOMICS AND ENGINEERING OF STRESS TOLERANT MICROBES FOR LOWER COST PRODUCTION OF ETHANOL FROM LIGNOCELLULOSE

Location: Bioenergy Research Unit

Title: Challenges of cellulosic ethanol production from xylose-extracted corncob residues

Authors
item Zhang, Lei -
item Li, Shizhong -
item Liu, Zonglin

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Corncobs are commonly used for xylose production at industrial scale, and the xylose-extracted corncob residue (X-ER), as a byproduct, is abundant and can serve as a potential energy resource. The X-ER is cellulose-rich and efforts to convert the cellulose fraction into ethanol have been attempted; however, a lack of understanding of characteristics of the substrate has led to unsatisfactory results. The present study characterized X-ER for its potential utilization in conjunction with the sequential production of xylose and cellulosic ethanol. We found that the current dilute acid treatment procedures used for corncobs by the xylose-production industry are insufficient for complete deconstruction of corncob cellulose. After a secondary dilute acid hydrolysis of the X-ER, more than 10% hemicellulose was recovered. A significantly higher yield of glucose conversion was also obtained compared with an untreated X-ER control. These results suggest X-ER can be utilized for cellulosic ethanol production; however, the current industry processed X-ER is not prepared for immediate application of economic ethanol production at industrial scale. Optimized process for economical xylose production which meets the requirements of the subsequent efficient cellulose-to-ethanol conversion are needed in order to establish a combined production of xylose and cellulosic ethanol from corncobs and its byproduct X-ER.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014