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Improving enzymatic hydrolysis of brewer spent grain with nonthermal plasma

Ravindran, Rajeev, Sarangapani, Chaitanya, Jaiswal, Swarna, Lu, Peng, Cullen, P.J., Bourke, Paula, Jaiswal, Amit K.
Bioresource technology 2019 v.282 pp. 520-524
biomass, electric potential difference, enzymatic hydrolysis, ethanol, ethanol production, fermentation, hydrolysates, hydrolysis, lignocellulose, nonthermal processing, reducing sugars, solvents, spent grains, yields
In this study, a new pre-treatment method based on novel non-thermal plasma technology was developed to improve the enzymatic hydrolysis of brewer’s spent grain (BSG) and subsequent bioethanol production. A submerged dielectric barrier discharge plasma reactor system was applied for this purpose. Pre-treatments were performed by taking into account variables including; voltages (22 kV, 25 kV and 28 kV), solvent (acid, alkali and water) and time (5, 10, 15 min). The resulting treated biomass was subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis. A 2.14-fold increase in yield of the reducing sugar was achieved post hydrolysis when the biomass was treated in water for 10 min at a voltage setting of 28 kV (162.90 mg/g of BSG) compared to control (75.94 mg/g of BSG). This research suggests that subjecting lignocellulose to plasma discharges can enhance the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis. A high ethanol titre was also obtained upon fermentation of the hydrolysate (25.062 g/l).