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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #178825


item Akin, Danny
item Morrison Iii, Wiley
item Rigsby, Luanne
item Barton Ii, Franklin
item Himmelsbach, David
item Hicks, Kevin

Submitted to: Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2005
Publication Date: 5/1/2006
Citation: Akin, D.E., Morrison III, W.H., Rigsby, L.L., Barton II, F.E., Himmelsbach, D.S., Hicks, K.B. 2006. Corn stover fractions and bioenergy: chemical composition, structure and response to enzyme pretreatment. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 129-132:pp 104-116.

Interpretive Summary: Corn stover has been identified as a near to mid-term source of material for bioconversion to fuel ethanol. Barriers exist to its fermentation, however, and strategies are needed to fully use this potential resource. Scientists in ARS-USDA characterized aromatic barriers to bioconversion and developed enzymatic means to mitigate limitations and improve biodegradation. Results are useful in identifying a potential, environmentally friendly way to improve bioconversion and simultaneously collect by-products. Further, results identify fractions that might be better used for bioconversion and fractions better left in the field for soil benefits. Data add to the growing knowledge towards the goal of utilizing corn stover as an efficient source of bioethanol.

Technical Abstract: Information is presented on the structure, composition, and response to enzymes of corn stover related to barriers for converting this recalcitrant material to ethanol. Aromatic compounds were present in most all cell walls of tissues; amounts, types and responses to enzymes varied for the morphological fractions. 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 help identify plant fractions more appropriate for co-products and bioconversion and those more suitable as residues for soil erosion control.