|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 4|
Sorghum byproducts, namely bran, stalk, and panicle are examples of lignocellulosic biomass. These raw materials contain large amounts of polysaccharides, in particular hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins, which if efficiently extracted, can be utilised for the development of a range of added value products with potential applications in agriculture and food packaging sectors. The aim of this study was to characterise fractions extracted from sorghum bran and stalk with regards to their physicochemical properties that could determine their applicability as food-packaging materials. A sequential alkaline extraction was applied for the isolation of cellulosic, hemicellulosic and lignin fractions from sorghum stalk and bran. Lignin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were also investigated in the case of the lignin fraction. Thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of cellulose fraction of the stalk was ~78.33 oC at amorphous state (~65%) and water content of ~5%. In terms of hemicellulose, the Tg value of stalk was slightly lower compared to bran at amorphous state (~54%) and had less water content (~2%). It is evident that hemicelluloses generally showed a lower thermal stability compared to cellulose, probably due to their lack of crystallinity. Additionally, bran had higher arabinose-to-xylose ratio (0.82) than the stalk, a fact that indicated its low crystallinity. Furthermore, lignin fraction had Tg value of ~93 oC at amorphous state (~11%). Stalk-derived lignin fraction contained more phenolic compounds (mainly consisting of p-coumaric and ferulic acid) and had higher lignin content and antioxidant capacity compared to bran-derived lignin fraction.
The objective of this research was to investigate biodegradation of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) to produce bioethanol using dilute-acid pretreatment (1% sulfuric acid) results in high hemicellulose decomposition and using yeast (Pachysolen tannophilus) as bioethanol producing strain. A maximum ethanol yield of 1.14g/L with coefficient, 0.24g g-1; productivity, 0.015g l-1h-1 was comparable to predicted value 32.05g/L obtained by Central Composite Design (CCD). Maximum ethanol yield coefficient was comparable to those obtained through enzymatic saccharification and fermentation of acid hydrolysate using fully equipped fermentor. Although maximum ethanol concentration was low in lab scale, the improvement of lignocellulosic ethanol yield is necessary for large scale production.