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Characterization of Corn Cobs from Microwave and Potassium Hydroxide Pretreatment

Authors: Boonyisa Wanitwattanarumlug, Apanee Luengnaruemitchai, Sujitra Wongkasemjit


The complexity of lignocellulosic biomass requires a pretreatment step to improve the yield of fermentable sugars. The efficient pretreatment of corn cobs using microwave and potassium hydroxide and enzymatic hydrolysis was investigated. The objective of this work was to characterize the optimal condition of pretreatment of corn cobs using microwave and potassium hydroxide enhance enzymatic hydrolysis. Corn cobs were submerged in different potassium hydroxide concentration at varies temperature and resident time. The pretreated corn cobs were hydrolyzed to produce the reducing sugar for analysis. The morphology and microstructure of samples were investigated by Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA, scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results showed that lignin and hemicellulose were removed by microwave/potassium hydroxide pretreatment. The crystallinity of the pretreated corn cobs was higher than the untreated. This method was compared with autoclave and conventional heating method. The results indicated that microwave-alkali treatment was an efficient way to improve the enzymatic hydrolysis rate by increasing its accessibility hydrolysis enzymes.

Keywords: Corn cobs, Enzymatic hydrolysis, Microwave, Potassium hydroxide, Pretreatment.

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