Microwave Assisted Chemical Pretreatment Method for Bio-ethanol Production from Rice Straw

Renu Singh1,*, Monika Srivastava1, Bharti Rohatgi2, Abhijit Kar3 and Ashish Shukla4

1Centre for Environment Science and Climate Resilient Agriculture, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-110 012, India

2Division of Microbiology, Central University of Rajasthan, Ajmer-305 817, India

3Division of Post Harvest Technology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-110 012, India

4School of Energy, Construction and Environment, Faculty of Energy, Engineering and Computing, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry, CV1 5FB, UK

*Corresponding author: E-mail: renusingh_env@iari.res.in; renu_icar@yahoo.com

Abstract

Continuous depletion in fossil fuel reserves and their contribution towards greenhouse gas emissions compelled the scientist to explore renewable sources of energy. Abundance of rice straw and its poor utilization is one major research question addressed through the present research work. The microwave assisted chemical treatment for Indian rice straw for bio-ethanol production has not been investigated so far and present study has provided insight in to the area of research. In the present research work, feasibility of microwave assisted alkali, acid and peroxide pretreatment has been investigated for rice straw. Mainly three chemicals NaOH, H2SO4 and H2O2 have been used. It has been found that the combination of microwave pretreatment with H2O2, H2SO4 and NaOH enhances the saccharification of rice straw, respectively by removing lignin and hemicelluloses in large quantity. Maximum reducing sugar is found through H2O2-microwave pretreatment (1453.64 μg/mL). SEM images also confirmed that the surface of the samples treated with microwave assisted H2O2 were more ruptured than H2SO4 and NaOH. It becomes quite evident from experimental analysis that the enzymatic saccharification of rice straw can be assisted with microwave-chemical pretreatment.

Keywords

Enzymatic digestibility, Rice straw, Microwave, Chemical pretreatment.

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