Corn mashes have high-viscosity and high-sugar characteristics, which hinders yeast-fermentation efficiency and the ethanol yield increase. The excessive viscosity of corn mash is caused by the unutilized cellulose in corn kernel fiber. A novel lignocellulolytic enzymes cocktail with strong substrate specificity was prepared for high-viscosity, high-sugar corn mash. The in situ conversion of corn mashes with novel lignocellulolytic enzymes at the optimum cellulase dosage of 50 FPU/L resulted in about 12% increased ethanol concentration compared with the reference mash at different batch-fermentation scales. Adding the lignocellulolytic enzymes caused the greatest decrease in viscosity of corn mash and residual sugars by 40.9% and 56.3%, respectively. Simultaneously, the application of lignocellulolytic enzymes increased the value of the dried distiller’s grain with solubles (DDGS) by increasing the protein content by 5.51%. The in situ conversion of cellulose can decrease the fermentation broth viscosity and improve the rheological property, thereby improving the ethanol yield. With the same amount of material, the application of the novel enzymes cocktail can enhance the ethanol yield by more than 12%. A quarter of the ethanol yield increase was due to the further hydrolysis of starch, while three quarters to cellulose. Thus, this technology will increase the net revenue of bioethanol industrialization.
Le Gao, Dongyuan Zhang, Xin Wu
Journal of Fungi