Microwave-Assisted Alkaline Pretreatment and Microwave Assisted Enzymatic Saccharification of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber for Enhanced Fermentable Sugar Yield


Lignocellulosic materials are promising alternative feedstocks for bioethanol production. However, the recalcitrant nature of lignocellulosic biomass necessitates an efficient pretreatment pretreatment step to improve the yield of fermentable sugars and maximizing the enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency. Microwave pretreatment may be a good alternative as it can reduce the pretreatment time and improve the enzymatic activity during hydrolysis. The overall goal of this paper is to expand the current state of knowledge on microwave-based pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass and microwave assisted enzymatic reaction or Microwave Irradiation-Enzyme Coupling Catalysis (MIECC). In the present study, a comparison of microwave assisted alkali pretreatment was tried using Oil Palm empty fruit bunch. The microwave assisted alkali pretreatment of EFB using NaOH, significantly improved the enzymatic saccharification of EFB by removing more lignin and hemicellulose and increasing its accessibility to hydrolytic enzymes. The results showed that the optimum pretreatment condition was 3% (w/v) NaOH at 180 W for 12 minutes with the optimum component loss of lignin and holocellulose of about 74% and 24.5% respectively. The subsequent enzymatic saccharification of EFB pretreated by microwave assisted NaOH (3% w/v); resulted in 411 mg of reducing sugar per gram EFB at cellulose enzyme dosage of 20 FPU. The overall enhancement by the microwave treatment during the microwave assisted alkali pretreatment and microwave assisted enzymatic hydrolysis was 5.8 fold. The present study has highlighted the importance of well controlled microwave assisted enzymatic reaction to enhance the overall reaction rate of the process.

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Nomanbhay, S. , Hussain, R. and Palanisamy, K. (2013) Microwave-Assisted Alkaline Pretreatment and Microwave Assisted Enzymatic Saccharification of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber for Enhanced Fermentable Sugar Yield. Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems, 3, 7-17. doi: 10.4236/jsbs.2013.31002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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