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A Comparison of Dilute Sulfuric and Phosphoric Acid Pretreatments in Biofuel Production from Corncobs

Authors: Jirakarn Nantapipat, Apanee Luengnaruemitchai, Sujitra Wongkasemjit

Abstract:

Biofuels, like biobutanol, have been recognized for being renewable and sustainable fuels which can be produced from lignocellulosic biomass. To convert lignocellulosic biomass to biofuel, pretreatment process is an important step to remove hemicelluloses and lignin to improve enzymatic hydrolysis. Dilute acid pretreatment has been successful developed for pretreatment of corncobs and the optimum conditions of dilute sulfuric and phosphoric acid pretreatment were obtained at 120 °C for 5 min with 15:1 liquid to solid ratio and 140 °C for 10 min with 10:1 liquid to solid ratio, respectively. The result shows that both of acid pretreatments gave the content of total sugar approximately 34–35 g/l. In case of inhibitor content (furfural), phosphoric acid pretreatment gives higher than sulfuric acid pretreatment. Characterizations of corncobs after pretreatment indicate that both of acid pretreatments can improve enzymatic accessibility and the better results present in corncobs pretreated with sulfuric acid in term of surface area, crystallinity, and composition analysis.

Keywords: Pretreatment, sulfuric acid, Corncobs, Phosphoric acid

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1330587

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