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Bioresour Technol. 2012 Sep;119:224-33. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.05.107. Epub 2012 May 30.

Corn stover saccharification with concentrated sulfuric acid: effects of saccharification conditions on sugar recovery and by-product generation.

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College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China.


Although concentrated sulfuric acid saccharification is not a novel method for breaking down lignocellulosic biomass, the process by which saccharification affects biomass decomposition, sugar recovery, and by-product generation is not well studied. The present study employed Taguchi experimental design to study the effects of seven parameters on corn stover concentrated sulfuric acid saccharification. The concentration of sulfuric acid and the temperature of solubilization significantly affect corn stover decomposition. They also have significant effects on glucose and xylose recoveries. Low generation of furfural and 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (5HMF) was noted and organic acids were the main by-products detected in the hydrolysate. Temperature also significantly affected the generation of levulinic acid and formic acid; however, acetic acid generation was not significantly influenced by all seven parameters. The ratio of acid to feedstock significantly affected glucose recovery, but not total sugar recovery. The corn stover hydrolysate was well fermented by both glucose- and xylose-fermenting yeast strains.

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