Pretreatment of Miscanthus× giganteus using Aqueous Ammonia with Hydrogen Peroxide to Increase Enzymatic Hydrolysis to Sugars

Guangren Yu, Waheed Afzal, Fuxin Yang, Sasisanker Padmanabhan, Zhongguo Liu, Hongxue Xie, Mahmoud Abdel Shafy, Alexis T Bell, John M Prausnitz

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Miscanthus×giganteus (M.×giganteus) is a potential source for bioethanol or other useful products. Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass is an essential step prior to enzymatic hydrolysis to sugars and fermentation to bioethanol.

In this work, a one-step process uses aqueous ammonia with or without hydrogen peroxide; a proposed two-step process uses aqueous ammonia in the first step and hydrogen peroxide in the second step. In the two-step process, overall 89.5% lignin is removed. The pretreated biomass is followed by using cellulase and β-glucosidase to convert cellulose and hemicellulose from the recovered solid to fermentable sugars. The conversion of cellulose to glucose is 90.2% and to xylose is 73.4%. Characterization data are obtained for the recovered solid using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), attenuated total reflection-infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) for better understanding of the two-step process.

Results from the two-step process using aqueous ammonia and hydrogen peroxide separately are much better than those from the one-step process for removing lignin and for enhancing conversion to sugars by enzymatic hydrolysis. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-706
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014



  • Miscanthus×giganteus
  • pretreatment
  • aqueous ammonia
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • enzymatic hydrolysis

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