Bioresource technology

Effect of fungal and phosphoric acid pretreatment on ethanol production from oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB).

PMID 24630370


Oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB), a lignocellulosic residue of palm oil industries was examined for ethanol production. Milled OPEFB exposed to simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) with enzymes and Saccharomyces cerevisiae resulted just in 14.5% ethanol yield compared to the theoretical yield. Therefore, chemical pretreatment with phosphoric acid, a biological pretreatment with white-rot fungus Pleurotus floridanus, and their combination were carried out on OPEFB prior to the SSF. Pretreatment with phosphoric acid, combination of both methods and just fungal pretreatment improved the digestibility of OPEFB by 24.0, 16.5 and 4.5 times, respectively. During the SSF, phosphoric acid pretreatment, combination of fungal and phosphoric acid pretreatment and just fungal pretreatment resulted in the highest 89.4%, 62.8% and 27.9% of the theoretical ethanol yield, respectively. However, the recovery of the OPEFB after the fungal pretreatment was 98.7%, which was higher than after phosphoric acid pretreatment (36.5%) and combined pretreatment (45.2%).