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Effect of steam pretreatment on oil palm empty fruit bunch for the production of sugars
Published Date January 2012, Vol.36:280–288,doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2011.10.040 Author
Saleha Shamsudin a,b
Umi Kalsom Md Shah c,,,
Huzairi Zainudin c
Suraini Abd-Aziz c
Siti Mazlina Mustapa Kamal b
Yoshihito Shirai d
Mohd Ali Hassan b,c
aSchool of Bioprocess Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Kompleks Pusat Pengajian Jejawi 3, 02600 Arau, Perlis, Malaysia
bFaculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Malaysia
cFaculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Malaysia
dGraduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Hibikino, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, 808-0196 Fukuoka, Japan
Received 23 October 2010. Revised 21 October 2011. Accepted 22 October 2011. Available online 20 November 2011.
Lignocellulose into fuel ethanol is the most feasible conversion route strategy in terms of sustainability. Oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) generated from palm oil production is a huge source of cellulosic material and represents a cheap renewable feedstock which awaits further commercial exploitation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using steam at 0.28 MPa and 140 °C generated from the palm oil mill boiler as a pretreatment to enhance the digestibility of EFB for sugars production. The effects of steam pretreatment or autohydrolysis on chemical composition changes, polysaccharide conversion, sugar production and morphology alterations of four different types of EFB namely fresh EFB (EFB1), sterilized EFB (EFB2), shredded EFB (EFB3) and ground EFB (EFB4) were evaluated. In this study, the effects of steam pretreatment showed major alterations in the morphology of EFB as observed under the scanning electron microscope. Steam pretreated EFB2 was found to have the highest total conversion of 30% to sugars with 209 g kg−1EFB. This production was 10.5 fold higher than for EFB1 and 1.6 fold and 1.7 fold higher than EFB3 and EFB4, respectively. The results suggested that pretreatment of EFB by autohydrolysis using steam from the mill boiler could be considered as being a suitable pretreatment process for the production of sugars. These sugars can be utilized as potential substrates for the production of various products such as fuel ethanol.
► We investigate the feasibility of steam pretreatment to enhance digestibility of EFB.►Steam pretreatment increased sugars to 3.4 fold and caused major alteration in EFB morphology under SEM.►Autohydrolysis which does not require the addition of chemicals is an attractive pretreatment approach to EFB.