Combination of ensiling and fungal delignification as effective wheat straw pretreatment

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Background: Utilization of lignocellulosic feedstocks for bioenergy production in developing countries demands competitive but low-tech conversion routes. White-rot fungi (WRF) inoculation and ensiling are two methods previously investigated for low-tech pretreatment of biomasses such as wheat straw (WS). This study was undertaken to assess whether a combination of forced ensiling with Lactobacillus buchneri and WRF treatment using a low cellulase fungus, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora, could produce a relevant pretreatment effect on WS for bioethanol and biogas production. Results: A combination of the ensiling and WRF treatment induced efficient pretreatment of WS by reducing lignin content and increasing enzymatic sugar release, thereby enabling an ethanol yield of 66 % of the theoretical max on the WS glucan, i.e. a yield comparable to yields obtained with high-tech, large-scale pretreatment methods. The pretreatment effect was reached with only a minor total solids loss of 5 % by weight mainly caused by the fungal metabolism. The combination of the biopretreatments did not improve the methane potential of the WS, but improved the initial biogas production rate significantly. Conclusion: The combination of the L. buchneri ensiling and C. subvermispora WRF treatment provided a significant improvement in the pretreatment effect on WS. This combined biopretreatment produced particularly promising results for ethanol production.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Issue number16
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Biogas, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora, Ensiling, Ethanol, Lignocellulose, Pretreatment, White rot

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