Green liquor consists of sodium carbonate and sodium sulfide and is readily available in any kraft mills. The green liquor pretreatment process for bioethanol production was developed for wood chips. This process uses only proven technology and equipment currently used in a kraft pulp mill and has several additional advantages such as high sugar recovery and concentration, no inhibitive substances produced, as compared to acid-based pretreatment methods. The liquor was used to pretreat corn stover for enhancing enzymatic hydrolysis in bioethanol production. Pulp yield of 70% with 45% lignin removal was achieved under optimized conditions (8% total titratable alkali, 40% sulfidity and 140°C). About 70% of the original polysaccharides were converted into fermentable sugars, using 20 FPU/g-pulp of enzyme in the subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis. The result indicates that green liquor is a feasible pretreatment to improve the enzymatic saccharification of corn stover for bioethanol production.
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