A comparative evaluation of fermentable sugars production from oxidative, alkaline, alkaline peroxide oxidation, dilute acid, and molten hydrate salt pretreatments of corn cob biomass

16 Feb 2021

Production of high value-added products from lignocelluloses is an economically sustainable alternative to decreasing dependence on fossil fuels and making the chemical processes environmentally friendly. In this study, different methodologies of alkaline (Ca(OH)2 and NaOH), dilute acid (10%w/w H2SO4), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), alkaline peroxide oxidation (H2O2/Ca(OH)2 and H2O2/NaOH), and molten hydrated salt (MHS) mediated (ZnCl2.4H2O) pretreatments were employed in the hydrolysis of corncob amenable to enzymatic hydrolysis. Optimal enzyme hydrolysis temperature (considering 45 and 50 ℃) and time (2, 24, 72, and 96 h) were investigated for each pretreatment procedure to ascertain the concentrations of glucose, xylose, and total sugar present in the corncob. At 45 ℃ and 96 h, NaOH alkaline pretreatment achieved the best optimum total sugar production of 75.54 mg/mL (about 54% and 88% increments compared to dilute acid pretreatment (35.06 mg/mL total sugars) and MHS (9.32 mg/mL total sugar) pretreatment respectively). In this study, total sugars production increased appreciably at 45 ℃ and longer hydrolysis period (96 h) compared to hydrolysis at 50 ℃ (with maximum total sugars production of 18.00 mg/mL at 96 h). Scanning electron microscopic imaging of the untreated and treated samples displayed cell wall distortion and surface disruptions.