Background: Limited availability of corn stover due to the competing uses (organic manure, animal feed, bio-materials, and bioenergy) presents a major concern for its future in the bio-economy. Furthermore, biomass research has exhibited different results due to the differences in the supply of enzymes and dissimilar analytical methods. The effect of the two leading pretreatment techniques (dilute acid and alkaline) on glucose yield from three corn stover fractions (cob, stalk, and leaf) sourced from a single harvest in Uganda were studied at temperatures 100, 120, 140, and 160 °C over reaction times of 5, 10, 30, and 60 min.

Results: From this study, the highest glucose concentrations obtained from the dilute acid (DA) pretreated cobs, stalks, and leaves were 18.4 g/L (66.8% glucose yield), 16.2 g/L (64.1% glucose yield), and 11.0 g/L (49.5% glucose yield), respectively. The optimal pretreatment settings needed to obtain these yields from the DA pretreated samples were at a temperature of 160 °C over an incubation time of 30 min. The highest glucose concentrations obtained from the alkaline (AL) pretreated cobs, stalks, and leaves were 24.7 g/L (81.73% glucose yield), 21.3 g/L (81.23% glucose yield), and 15.0 g/L (51.92% glucose yield), respectively. To be able to achieve these yields, the optimal pretreatment settings for the cobs and stalks were 140 °C and for a retention time of 30 min, while the leaves require optimal conditions of 140 °C and for a retention time of 60 min.

Conclusions: The study recommends that the leaves could be left on the field during harvesting since the recovery of glucose from the pretreated cobs and stalks is higher.

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Published in Journal of Ecology and Environment, v. 41, 26, p. 1-11.

© The Author(s) 2017

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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This work was co-financed by authors and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

Related Content

The dataset supporting the conclusions of this article is available in the FigShare repository. [https://figshare.com/articles/GLUCOSE_RECOVERY_FROM_DIFFERENT_CORN_STOVER_FRACTIONS_DA_NB/4668436].