Oil palm fronds are the most abundant lignocellulosic biomass in Malaysia. In this study, fronds were tested as the potential renewable biomass for ethanol production. The soaking in aqueous ammonia pretreatment was applied, and the fermentability of pretreated fronds was evaluated using simultaneous saccharification and fermentation. The optimal pretreatment conditions were 7 % (w/w) ammonia, 80 °C, 20 h of pretreatment, and 1:12 S/L ratio, where the enzymatic digestibility was 41.4 % with cellulase of 60 FPU/g-glucan. When increasing the cellulase loading in the hydrolysis of pretreated fronds, the enzymatic digestibility increased until the enzyme loading reached 60 FPU/g-glucan. With 3 % glucan loading in the SSF of pretreated fronds, the ethanol concentration and yield based on the theoretical maximum after 12 and 48 h of the SSF were 7.5 and 9.7 g/L and 43.8 and 56.8 %, respectively. The ethanol productivities found at 12 and 24 h from pretreated fronds were 0.62 and 0.36 g/L/h, respectively.
- Oil palm fronds
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