Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 179, Issue 1, pp 111–125 | Cite as

Pretreatment of Corn Stover by Low Moisture Anhydrous Ammonia (LMAA) in a Pilot-Scale Reactor and Bioconversion to Fuel Ethanol and Industrial Chemicals

  • Nhuan P. NghiemEmail author
  • Gerard E. Senske
  • Tae Hyun Kim


Corn stover (CS) adjusted to 50, 66, and 70 % moisture was pretreated by the low moisture anhydrous ammonia (LMAA) process in a pilot-scale ammoniation reactor. After ammoniation, the 70 % moisture CS was treated at 90 and 100 °C whereas the others were treated at 90 °C only. The 70 % moisture pretreated CS then was subjected to a storage study under non-sterile conditions for 3 months. It was found that storage time did not have significant effects on the compositions of the pretreated materials and their hydrolysis by commercial enzymes. The 70 % moisture CS treated at 90 °C was used for preparation of a mix sugar hydrolysate (MSH) using combination of cellulase and xylanase. The MSH was used to prepare a corn mash at 9.5 wt% solid then subjected to ethanol fermentation by Escherichia coli KO11. The 66 % moisture CS treated at 90 °C was hydrolyzed with xylanase to make a xylose-rich hydrolysate (XRH), which was subsequently used for butyric acid fermentation by Clostridium tyrobutyricum. The resultant cellulose-enriched residue was hydrolyzed with cellulase to make a glucose-rich hydrolysate (GRH), which was subsequently used for succinic acid fermentation by E. coli AFP184.


Cellulosic biomass Corn stover Pretreatment Low moisture anhydrous ammonia Ethanol Value-added products Fermentation 



The authors would like to express their thanks the North Central Sun Grant Office for the financial support, DuPont Industrial Biosciences and Novozymes for providing the enzyme products, and Dr. Kurt Rosentrater of Iowa State University for obtaining the corn stover. The valuable assistance of Mr. Jacob Armiger and Mr. Paul Giardina on the experimental effort and sample analysis are also greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nhuan P. Nghiem
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gerard E. Senske
    • 1
  • Tae Hyun Kim
    • 2
  1. 1.Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research CenterAgricultural Research Service, USDAWyndmoorUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringKongju National UniversityCheonanKorea

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