Submitted to: Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This research was undertaken to develop a process for the conversion of corn fiber to useful sugars. Such sugars can then be fermented to produce ethanol for use as an environmentally-friendly fuel. The low cost and high carbohydrate content of corn fiber makes it an attractive resource, but its use presents significant technical and economic challenges. We have found that, currently, there is no suitable commercial enzyme preparation or pretreatment that can breakdown the necessary components of corn fiber without producing toxic by-products. Based on these findings, we have developed a method for successful breakdown of corn fiber, involving pretreatment with mild sulfuric acid and the use of two commercial enzyme preparations to generate fermentable sugars.
Technical Abstract: A method for pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification of corn fiber is presented. It involves pretreatment of corn fiber (15% solids) with dilute acid (0.5% H2SO4) at 121 deg C for 1 hr, neutralization to pH 5.0, then saccharification of the pretreated corn fiber material with commercial cellulase and beta-glucosidase preparations. The yield of fermentable sugars from corn fiber was typically 85-100%.