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Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 31 (6) Oct. 2023 / JST-4076-2022


Novel Pre-treatment for Lignocellulosic Biomass Delignification Using Alkaline-Assisted Ohmic Heating

Izzah Farhana Ab Aziz, Hasfalina Che Man, Muhammad Hazwan Hamzah, Nur Syakina Jamali and Rozita Omar

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 31, Issue 6, October 2023


Keywords: Biogas, empty fruit bunch (EFB), lignocellulosic, ohmic heating, pre-treatment, recalcitrant

Published on: 12 October 2023

Lignocellulosic biomass (LCB) is a common substrate for biogas and bioethanol production due to its significant properties and abundance. However, it has a unique recalcitrant structure that can inhibit the production of biogas, which necessitates pre-treatment of the substrate to obtain higher cellulose or sugars ready for microbial hydrolysis in producing biogas. In this study, a novel approach for empty fruit bunch (EFB) pre-treatment has been made: ohmic heating pre-treatment. This method is conventionally used in the food industry for pasteurization and extraction. It involves electric current and resistance inside the material that releases heat (Joule effect). A preliminary study has been done to figure out the potential of alkaline assisted with ohmic heating (AA-OH) pre-treatment for EFB. Lignin reduction for AA-OH EFB is higher than EFB that undergoes only size reduction (SR) pre-treatment, which are 15.54% and 11.51%, respectively. After confirming the potential of ohmic heating as one of the pre-treatment methods for EFB, three parameters were investigated (reaction time, temperature, and solvent concentration) by one factor at a time (OFAT) testing to obtain the optimum condition for AA-OH pre-treatment. The optimal condition for achieving a high reduction in lignin (86.9%) and hemicellulose (75%) while also showing a significant increase in cellulose (63.2%), which is desirable for the fermentation process, is achieved by using 4% w/v of NaOH, ohmic-heated at a temperature of 120°C for 25 minutes. To sum up, this developed ohmic heating pre-treatment technique can be applied to LCB prior to biogas or bioethanol production.

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