Effect of anatomical fractionation on the enzymatic hydrolysis of acid and alkaline pretreated corn stover

K. B. Duguid, M. D. Montross, C. W. Radtke, C. L. Crofcheck, L. M. Wendt, S. A. Shearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Due to concerns with biomass collection systems and soil sustainability there are opportunities to investigate the optimal plant fractions to collect for conversion. An ideal feedstock would require a low severity pretreatment to release a maximum amount of sugar during enzymatic hydrolysis. Corn stover fractions were separated manually and analyzed for glucan, xylan, acid soluble lignin, acid insoluble lignin, and ash composition. The stover fractions were also pretreated with either 0%, 0.4%, or 0.8% NaOH for 2 h at room temperature, washed, autoclaved and saccharified. In addition, dilute sulfuric acid pretreated samples underwent simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) to ethanol. In general, the two pretreatments produced similar trends with cobs, husks, and leaves responding best to the pretreatments, the tops of stalks responding slightly less, and the bottom of the stalks responding the least. For example, corn husks pretreated with 0.8% NaOH released over 90% (standard error of 3.8%) of the available glucan, while only 45% (standard error of 1.1%) of the glucan was produced from identically treated stalk bottoms. Estimates of the theoretical ethanol yield using acid pretreatment followed by SSF were 65% (standard error of 15.9%) for husks and 29% (standard error of 1.8%) for stalk bottoms. This suggests that integration of biomass collection systems to remove sustainable feedstocks could be integrated with the processes within a biorefinery to minimize overall ethanol production costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5189-5195
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Alltech, Inc., for generously providing the cellulase and xylanase enzymes for the alkaline hydrolysis work, and Genencor International for providing the Spezyme-CP for use in ethanol SSF. The authors would also like to thank Wei Chen, Brad Blackwelder, Heather Silverman, Cindy Breckenridge, Dylan Laug, and Debby Bruhn for assisting with laboratory work and Dan Schell of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for generously supplying the dilute acid pretreated corn stover control material. The authors would also like to thank the assistance of University of Kentucky Animal Research Center for sample collection and nutrient analyses performed by the University of Kentucky Regulatory Services. This article is published with the approval of the Director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and designated paper number 06-05-078. The INL work was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, under DOE Idaho Operations Office Contract DE-AC07-05ID14517.


  • Cellulase
  • Digestibility
  • Harvest
  • Sugar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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