Dilute ammonia pretreatment of sorghum and its effectiveness on enzyme hydrolysis and ethanol fermentation

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A new pretreatment technology using dilute ammonium hydroxide was evaluated for ethanol production on sorghum. Sorghum fibers, ammonia, and water at a ratio of 1:0.14:8 were heated to 160 degrees C and held for 1 h under 140-160 psi pressure. Approximately, 44% lignin and 35% hemicellulose were removed during the process. Hydrolysis of untreated and dilute ammonia pretreated fibers was carried out at 10% dry solids at an enzyme concentration of 60 FPU Spezyme CP and 64 CBU Novozyme 188/g glucan. Cellulose digestibility was higher (84%) for ammonia pretreated sorghum as compared to untreated sorghum (38%). Fermentations with Saccharomyces cerevisiae D(5)A resulted in 24 g ethanol /100 g dry biomass for dilute ammonia pretreated sorghum and 9 g ethanol /100 g dry biomass for untreated sorghum.

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Applied biochemistry and biotechnology

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