Indexed on: 21 Apr '10Published on: 21 Apr '10Published in: Bioresource Technology
The impacts of varying pretreatment parameters (temperature, time, and alkalinity) on enzymatic hydrolysis of sorghum straw were investigated. Following pretreatment, both solids and lignin content was found to be inversely proportional to the severity of the treatments. Higher temperatures and alkali strength were quintessential for maximising sugar recoveries from enzyme saccharifications. Total sugar release peaked when sorghum straw was pretreated in 2% NaOH at 121 degrees C for 60 min; representing a 5.6-fold higher yield compared to samples pretreated at 60 degrees C in the absence of alkali. Similarly, 4.3-fold increases in total sugars from samples treated with 2% NaOH at 60 degrees C for 90 min, confirmed the importance of alkali inclusion. Addition of beta-glucosidase and xylanase to saccharification mixtures enhanced reaction rates and final sugar yields, whilst reducing cellulase dosage 4-fold. Saccharification efficiency of pretreated solids approached 90% and 95% (w/w) with as little as 2.5 and 5.0 FPU cellulase/g, respectively.