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Corn stover for biogas production: Effect of steam explosion pretreatment on the gas yields and on the biodegradation kinetics of the primary structural compounds

Lizasoain, Javier, Trulea, Adrian, Gittinger, Johannes, Kral, Iris, Piringer, Gerhard, Schedl, Andreas, Nilsen, Paal J., Potthast, Antje, Gronauer, Andreas, Bauer, Alexander
Bioresource technology 2017 v.244 pp. 949-956
anaerobic digestion, biodegradation, biogas, chemical composition, corn stover, hemicellulose, lignin, methane production, temperature
This study evaluated the effect of steam explosion on the chemical composition and biomethane potential of corn stover using temperatures ranging between 140 and 220°C and pretreatment times ranging between 2 and 15min. Biodegradation kinetics during the anaerobic digestion of untreated and corn stover, pretreated at two different intensities, 140°C for 5min and 180°C for 5min, were studied in tandem. Results showed that pretreatment at 160°C for 2min improved the methane yield by 22%. Harsher pretreatment conditions led to lower hemicellulose contents and methane yields, as well as higher lignin contents, which may be due to the formation of pseudo-lignin. The biodegradation kinetics trial demonstrated that steam explosion enhances the degradation of structural carbohydrates and acid insoluble lignin.