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Fermentable Sugars from Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Biomass for Bioethanol Production

Authors: U. A. Asli, H. Hamid, Z.A. Zakaria, A. N. Sadikin, R. Rasit


This study investigated the effect of a dilute acid, lime and ammonia aqueous pretreatment on the fermentable sugars conversion from empty fruit bunch (EFB) biomass. The dilute acid treatment was carried out in an autoclave, at 121ºC with 4% of sulfuric acid. In the lime pretreatment, 3 wt % of calcium hydroxide was used, whereas the third method was done by soaking EFB with 28% ammonia solution. The EFB biomass was then subjected to a two-stage-acid hydrolysis process. Subsequently, the hydrolysate was fermented by using instant baker’s yeast to produce bioethanol. The highest glucose yield was 890 mg/g of biomass, obtained from the sample which underwent lime pretreatment. The highest bioethanol yield of 6.1mg/g of glucose was achieved from acid pretreatment. This showed that the acid pretreatment gave the most fermentable sugars compared to the other two pretreatments.

Keywords: biomass, Bioethanol, Fermentable Sugars, empty fruit bunch (EFB)

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