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Research article

J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2011; 21(7): 746-752

Published online July 28, 2011 https://doi.org/10.4014/jmb.1011.11026

Copyright © The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Enhancing the Anaerobic Digestion of Corn Stalks Using Composite Microbial Pretreatment

Xufeng Yuan 1, Peipei Li 1, Hui Wang 1, Xiaofen Wang 1, Xu Cheng 1 and Zongjun Cui 1*

Center of Biomass Engineering / College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China

Received: November 24, 2010; Accepted: April 6, 2011

Abstract

A composite microbial system (XDC-2) was used to
pretreat and hydrolyze corn stalk to enhance anaerobic
digestion. The results of pretreatment indicated that sCOD
concentrations of hydrolysate were highest (8,233 mg/l) at
the fifth day. XDC-2 efficiently degraded the corn stalk by
nearly 45%, decreasing the cellulose content by 22.7%
and the hemicellulose content by 74.1%. Total levels of
volatile products peaked on the fifth day. The six major
compounds present were ethanol (0.29 g/l), acetic acid
(0.55 g/l), 1,2-ethanediol (0.49 g/l), propionic acid (0.15 g/l),
butyric acid (0.22 g/l), and glycerine (2.48 g/l). The results
of anaerobic digestion showed that corn stalks treated by
XDC-2 produced 68.3% more total biogas and 87.9%
more total methane than untreated controls. The technical
digestion time for the treated corn stalks was 35.7%
shorter than without treatment. The composite microbial
system pretreatment could be a cost-effective and
environmentally friendly microbial method for efficient
biological conversion of corn stalk into bioenergy.

Keywords: composite microbial system, biogas, pretreatment, hydrolysate, anaerobic digestion