Indexed on: 22 Oct '16Published on: 20 Oct '16Published in: Bioresource Technology
The simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) of corn stover biomass for ethanol production was performed by integrating steam explosion (SE) pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation. Higher SE pretreatment severity and two-step size reduction increased the specific surface area, swollen volume and water holding capacity of steam exploded corn stover (SECS) and hence facilitated the efficiency of hydrolysis and fermentation. The ethanol production and yield in SSF increased with the decrease of particle size and post-washing of SECS prior to fermentation to remove the inhibitors. Under the SE conditions of 1.5 MPa and 9 min using 2.0 cm particle size, glucan recovery and conversion to glucose by enzymes were 86.2% and 87.2%, respectively. The ethanol concentration and yield were 45.0 g/L and 85.6%, respectively. With this two-step size reduction and post-washing strategy, the water utilization efficiency, sugar recovery and conversion, and ethanol concentration and yield by the SSF process were improved.