Development of oxidative lime pretreatment and shock treatment to produce highly digestible lignocellulose for biofuel and ruminant feed applications

2011 2011

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

At present, the United States generates biofuels (ethanol) from corn grain. Unfortunately, low crop yields and limited growth regions result in limited availability. Furthermore, the use of staple food crops for ethanol production has generated a highly controversial food vs. fuel debate. Because of its high abundance and relatively low cost, lignocellulosic biomass is a promising alternative feedstock for biofuel production; however, structural features of lignocellulose limit accessibility of enzymes or microorganisms. These structural barriers include high lignin content, acetyl groups on hemicellulose, high cellulose crystallinity, cellulose degree of polymerization, and small pore volume. To overcome these barriers, a variety of pretreatment processes (chemical and mechanical) have been developed.

Oxidative-lime pretreatment (OLP) is highly effective at reducing lignin content and removing acetyl groups from hemicellulose. Combining OLP with a mechanical treatment process greatly enhances the enzymatic digestibility of lignocellulose.

Recommended OLP conditions were determined for Dacotah (120 °C, 6.89-bar O2, 240 min) and Alamo (110 °C, 6-89-bar O2, 240 min) switchgrass. Using recommended conditions, 72-h glucan digestibilities (g glucan hydrolyzed/100 g glucan in raw biomass; 15 filter paper units/g raw glucan) of 85.2 and 88.5 were achieved for Dacotah and Alamo, respectively. Adding ball milling to OLP further enhanced glucan digestibility to 91.1 (Dacotah) and 90.0 (Alamo).

In previous studies, shock treatment achieved promising results, but was often inconsistent. This work refined shock treatment with a focus on using consistent procedures and performance analysis. The combination of OLP and shock treatment enhanced the 72-h glucan digestibility of several promising biomass feedstocks: bagasse (74.0), corn stover (92.0), poplar wood (94.0), sorghum (71.8), and switchgrass (89.0).

Highly digestible lignocellulose can also be used as ruminant animal feed. Shock treatment plus OLP increased the total digestible nutrients (TDN N; g nutrients digested/100 g organic matter) of corn stover from 51.9 (untreated) to 72.6. Adding in pre-washed corn stover solubles to produce a combined feed (17.8% corn stover solubles and 82.2% shock + OLP corn stover) increased TDNN to 74.9. Mixing in enough solubilized protein to match the crude protein content of corn grain further improved TDNN to 75.5, only 12.6 less than corn grain.

Indexing (details)

Alternative Energy;
Chemical engineering
0363: Alternative Energy
0542: Chemical engineering
Identifier / keyword
Applied sciences; Animal feed; Biofuels; Lignocellulose; Oxidative lime pretreatment; Shock treatment
Development of oxidative lime pretreatment and shock treatment to produce highly digestible lignocellulose for biofuel and ruminant feed applications
Falls, Matthew David
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Holtzapple, Mark T.
Texas A&M University
University location
United States -- Texas
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.