Rice straw was pretreated using aqueous-ammonia solution at moderate temperatures to enable production of the maximum amount of fermentable sugars from enzymatic hydrolysis. The effects of various operating variables including pretreatment temperature, pretreatment time, the concentration of ammonia and the solid-to-liquid ratio on the degree of lignin removal and the enzymatic digestibility were optimized using response surface methodology. The optimal reaction conditions, which resulted in an enzymatic digestibility of 71.1%, were found to be 69 °C, 10 h and an ammonia concentration of 21% (w/w). The effects of different commercial cellulases and the additional effect of a non-cellulolytic enzyme, xylanase, were also evaluated. Additionally, simultaneous saccharification and fermentation was conducted with rice straw to assess the ethanol production yield and productivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Waste Management and Disposal