Toward biochemical conversion of lignocellulose on-farm: pretreatment and hydrolysis of corn stover in situ

A. A. Modenbach, S. E. Nokes, M. D. Montross, B. L. Knutson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-solids lignocellulosic pretreatment using NaOH followed by high-solids enzymatic hydrolysis was evaluated for an on-farm biochemical conversion process. Increasing the solids loadings for these processes has the potential for increasing glucose concentrations and downstream ethanol production; however, sequential processing at high-solids loading similar to an in-situ on-farm cellulose conversion system has not been studied. This research quantified the effects of high-solids pretreatment with NaOH and subsequent high-solids enzymatic hydrolysis on cellulose conversion. As expected, conversion efficiency was reduced; however, the highest glucose concentration (40.2 g L-1), and therefore the highest potential ethanol concentration, resulted from the high-solids combined pretreatment and hydrolysis. Increasing the enzyme dosage improved cellulose conversion from 9.6% to 36.8% when high-solids loadings were used in both unit operations; however, increasing NaOH loading and pretreatment time did not increase the conversion efficiency. The enzyme-to-substrate ratio had a larger impact on cellulose conversion than the NaOH pretreatment conditions studied, resulting in recommendations for an on-farm bioconversion system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1033
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.


  • Corn stover
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis
  • Enzyme loading
  • High solids
  • Low solids
  • Sodium hydroxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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