Selectively Desirable Rapeseed and Corn Stalks Distinctive for Low-Cost Bioethanol Production and High-Active Biosorbents


Crop straws provide large amounts of biomass resource for biofuels, but it remains to explore cost-effective lignocellulose process technology with additional valuable bioproducts. Using total eight rapeseed and corn stalks with distinct lignocellulose composition, this study initially performed mild alkali pretreatment (1% NaOH, 50 °C) for enzymatic hydrolysis and yeast fermentation to release bioethanol yields varied from 5 to 12% (% dry matter). By comparison, four corn stalks consistently showed more ethanol yields than those of the rapeseeds, but relatively higher sugar-ethanol conversion rates were examined in the rapeseed samples. Of all stalk samples, both genetic corn mutant (CY04) and classic rapeseed cultivar (Bn18) were respectively assessed as the desired lignocellulose residues for relatively high bioethanol production. Then, all remained solid residues of yeast fermentation were employed as biosorbents for Cd adsorption under various incubation conditions (pH, temperature, time, Cd concentration, biosorbent dose). In general, the solid residues exhibited much higher Cd adsorption capacities and removal rates than those of the raw stalks. In particular, two desirable rapeseed residues were of the highest Cd adsorption capacities, compared to the corn residues examined in this study or other major agricultural crop straws as previously reported. Furthermore, the solid residues were characterized as typical biosorbents via a classic chemical binding manner with much large surface areas accountable for their high Cd adsorption capacity. Therefore, this study has demonstrated a green-like strategy for low-cost cellulosic ethanol production and high-active biosorbents by selecting desired corn and rapeseed stalks.

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This work was supported in part by grants from the National Key Research and Development Program (2016YFD0800804), the National Science Foundation of China (31670296; 31571721) and the National 111 Project of Ministry of Education of China (B08032).

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Xu, C., Xia, T., Wang, J. et al. Selectively Desirable Rapeseed and Corn Stalks Distinctive for Low-Cost Bioethanol Production and High-Active Biosorbents. Waste Biomass Valor 12, 795–805 (2021).

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  • Crop stalk
  • Alkali pretreatment
  • Cellulosic ethanol
  • Cadmium
  • Biosorbent
  • Corn
  • Rapeseed