Dividing Corn Stover Makes Ethanol Conversion More Efficient
(PhysOrg.com/Purdue University) Not all parts of a corn stalk are equal, and they shouldn’t be treated that way when creating cellulosic ethanol, say Purdue University researchers.
When corn stover is processed to make cellulosic ethanol, everything is ground down and blended together. But a research team found that three distinct parts of the stover the rind, pith and leaves break down in different ways.
…Stover’s pith, the soft core that makes up more than half the weight of a corn stalk, is the easiest for enzymes to digest, according to the findings in two papers published in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Rind is the most difficult, while leaves fall in between. Significant amounts of lignin, the rigid compound in plant cell walls, make the cellulose resistant to hydrolosis, a process in which cellulose is broken down into sugars. READ MORE Abstract: Tissue-specific biomass recalcitrance in corn stover pretreated with liquid hot-water: Enzymatic hydrolysis (part 1) Abstract: Tissue-specific biomass recalcitrance in corn stover pretreated with liquid hot-water: SEM imaging (part 2)†