Corn stover for biogas production: Effect of steam explosion pretreatment on the gas yields and on the biodegradation kinetics of the primary structural compounds
Bioresource Technology, 244(1), 949-956
Nilsen, Paal Jahre
This study evaluated the effect of steam explosion on the chemical composition and biomethane potential of corn stover using temperatures ranging between 140 and 220°C and pretreatment times ranging between 2 and 15min. Biodegradation kinetics during the anaerobic digestion of untreated and corn stover, pretreated at two different intensities, 140°C for 5min and 180°C for 5min, were studied in tandem. Results showed that pretreatment at 160°C for 2min improved the methane yield by 22%. Harsher pretreatment conditions led to lower hemicellulose contents and methane yields, as well as higher lignin contents, which may be due to the formation of pseudo-lignin. The biodegradation kinetics trial demonstrated that steam explosion enhances the degradation of structural carbohydrates and acid insoluble lignin.