Steam Explosion Pretreatment and Saccharification of Lignocellulosic Biomass

  • Lan Wang
  • Feng Kong
  • Hongzhang ChenEmail author
Living reference work entry


The efficient conversion of lignocellulosic biomass is a worldwide scientific and technological issue. Pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis are two key unit operations in which biomass is fractionated into fermentable sugars and then used for biofuels and biochemical production. Steam explosion has been recognized as one of the most effective pretreatments, which improves the subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis performance. High solids enzymatic hydrolysis could improve overall productivity and reduce the cost of enzymatic hydrolysis. This chapter mainly introduced steam explosion pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis in biorefining, analyzed the principle of steam explosion and its action mechanism on lignocellulosic biomass, and introduced periodic peristalsis technology in the system of high-solids enzymatic hydrolysis, in order to improve the widespread interpretation and application of steam explosion pretreatment and periodic peristalsis enzymatic saccharification in biorefinery field.


Steam explosion pretreatment High-solids enzymatic hydrolysis Periodic peristalsis 


  1. 1.
    Chen HZ, Qiu WH, Liu SJ et al (2010) Key technologies for bioethanol production from lignocellulose. Biotechnol Adv 28(5):556–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Popp J, Lakner Z, Harangi-Rákos M et al (2014) The effect of bioenergy expansion: Food, energy, and environment. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 32(32):559–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chen HZ, Li GH (2013) An industrial level system with nonisothermal simultaneous solid state saccharification, fermentation and separation for ethanol production. Biochem Eng J 74(74):121–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chen HZ, Li H, Liu L (2011) The inhomogeneity of corn stover and its effects on bioconversion. Biomass Bioenergy 35(5):1940–1945CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chen HZ (2015) Gas explosion technology and biomass refinery. Springer, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chen HZ, Li GH, Li HQ (2014) Novel pretreatment of steam explosion associated with ammonium chloride preimpregnation. Bioresour Technol 153(1):154–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    De Souza ROMA, Miranda LSM, Luque R (2014) ChemInform abstract: Bio(chemo)technological strategies for biomass conversion into bioethanol and key carboxylic acids. Green Chem 45(27):2386–2405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Da CSL, Chundawat SP, Balan V et al (2009) “Cradle-to-grave” assessment of existing lignocellulose pretreatment technologies. Curr Opin Biotechnol 20(3):339–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chen HZ, Han Y, Xu J (2008) Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of steam exploded wheat straw pretreated with alkaline peroxide. Process Biochem 43(12):1462–1466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yu B, Chen HZ (2010) Effect of the ash on enzymatic hydrolysis of steam exploded rice straw. Bioresour Technol 101(23):9114–9119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chen HZ, Qiu WH (2007) The crucial problems and recent advance on producing fuel alcohol by fermentation of straw. Progr Chem 19(7):1116–1121Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chen HZ, Fu XG (2016) Industrial technologies for bioethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 57(MAY):468–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chen G, Chen HZ (2011) Enhancement of oil extraction from sumac fruit using steam-explosion pretreatment. J Am Oil Chem Soc 88(1):151–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chen HZ, Sui WJ (2017) Steam explosion as a hydrothermal pretreatment in the biorefinery concept. In: Hydrothermal processing in biorefineries. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sui WJ, Chen HZ (2014) Multi-stage energy analysis of steam explosion process. Chem Eng Sci 116(SEP):254–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sui WJ, Chen HZ (2015) Water transfer in steam explosion process of corn stalk. Ind Crop Prod 76:977–986CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sui WJ, Chen HZ (2016) Effects of water states on steam explosion of lignocellulosic biomass. Bioresour Technol 199:155–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Chen HZ, Liu L (2007) Unpolluted fractionation of wheat straw by steam explosion and ethanol extraction. Bioresour Technol 98(3):666–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chen HZ, Liu ZH (2015) Steam explosion and its combinatorial pretreatment refining technology of plant biomass to bio-based products. Biotechnol J 10(6):866–885CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zhao JY, Chen HZ (2013) Correlation of porous structure, mass transfer and enzymatic hydrolysis of steam exploded corn stover. Chem Eng Sci 104(12m):1036–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Qiu WH, Chen HZ (2012) Enhanced the enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency of wheat straw after combined steam explosion and laccase pretreatment. Bioresour Technol 118(4):8–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Saha BC (2003) Hemicellulose bioconversion. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 30(5):279–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Chen HZ (2002) No-contaminative steam explosion and its application. J Cellulose Sci Technol 10:47–52Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Liu ZH, Chen HZ (2016) Periodic peristalsis enhancing the high solids enzymatic hydrolysis performance of steam exploded corn stover biomass. Biomass Bioenergy 93:13–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Galbe M, Zacchi G, Maniatis K et al (2012) Pretreatment: the key to efficient utilization of lignocellulosic materials. Biomass Bioenergy 46(6):70–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mood SH, Golfeshan AH, Tabatabaei M et al (2013) Lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol, a comprehensive review with a focus on pretreatment. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 27(6):77–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kim S, Dale BE (2015) Comparing alternative cellulosic biomass biorefining systems: Centralized versus distributed processing systems. Biomass Bioenergy 74:135–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sánchez C (2009) Lignocellulosic residues: biodegradation and bioconversion by fungi. Biotechnol Adv 27(2):185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Chen HZ (2014) Biotechnology of lignocellulose. Springer, Netherlands, pp 403–510Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Gusakov AV, Sinitsyn AP, Klyosov AA (1985) Kinetics of the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose: 1. A mathematical model for a batch reactor process. Enzym Microb Technol 7(7):346–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Haki GD, Rakshit SK (2003) Developments in industrially important thermostable enzymes: a review. Bioresour Technol 89(1):17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    South CR, Hogsett DAL, Lynd LR (1995) Modeling simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulose to ethanol in batch and continuous reactors. Enzym Microb Technol 17(9):797–803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Yang S, Ding W, Chen HZ (2006) Enzymatic hydrolysis of rice straw in a tubular reactor coupled with uf membrane. Process Biochem 41(3):721–725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Jørgensen H, Vibepedersen J, Larsen J et al (2007) Liquefaction of lignocellulose at high-solids concentrations. Biotechnol Bioeng 96(5):862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Koppram R, Tomás-Pejó E, Xiros C et al (2014) Lignocellulosic ethanol production at high-gravity: challenges and perspectives. Trends Biotechnol 32(1):46–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Chen HZ (2013) Modern solid state fermentation. Springer, Netherlands, pp 243–305Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Chen HZ, Liu ZH, Dai SH (2014) A novel solid state fermentation coupled with gas stripping enhancing the sweet sorghum stalk conversion performance for bioethanol. Biotechnol Biofuels 7(1):53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Liu ZH, Chen HZ (2016) Simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation for improving the xylose utilization of steam exploded corn stover at high solid loading. Bioresour Technol 201:15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kristensen JB, Felby C, Jørgensen H (2009) Yield-determining factors in high-solids enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulose. Biotechnol Biofuels 2(1):11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Modenbach AA, Nokes SE (2013) ChemInform abstract: enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass at high-solids loadings – a review. Biomass Bioenergy 56(38):526–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Liu ZH, Chen HZ (2016) Periodic peristalsis releasing constrained water in high solids enzymatic hydrolysis of steam exploded corn stover. Bioresour Technol 205(APR):142PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Chen HZ, Qiu WH (2010). A cyclic leaching bionic periodic peristaltic enzymatic hydrolysis reactor and method. China Patent 101768545 AGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Biochemical EngineeringInstitute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jie Bao
    • 1
  • Xin-Hui XING
    • 2
  1. 1.East China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Institute of Biochemical EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations