The pretreatment of lignocellulose-containing biomass for the specific depolymerization of lignin units without loss of carbohydrates and for minimizing the formation of harmful intermediate products during the process is a major challenge in the biofuel production process. In the present study, a nanoparticle-mediated pretreatment strategy was developed to specifically depolymerize lignin from corn on the cob biomass. The synthesized nanoparticles had unique enzymatic properties that can be used to break down lignin units. The maximum percentage delignification was 44% using cerium-doped iron oxide nanoparticles within an incubation time of 24 h, at 25 ° C. and a high solids load of 20% (w / v). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry studies have shown the production of various lignin-degraded compounds in pretreated liquids such as fatty acid methyl esters, which are the main components of biodiesel. Aromatic alcohols and aldehydes have also been observed in the industrially significant degradation of lignin. The remaining carbohydrate-rich, pretreated solid residues can be used to produce reducing sugars and, in turn, biofuels such as bioethanol, biobutanol and bio hydrogen. The value of the crystallinity index increased from 0.39 to 0.46 as a result of delignification, which indicates an overall increase in the biomass crystallinity. In addition, the increase in biomass porosity indicates good biomass digestibility and thus a high yield of reducing sugar. After enzymatic hydrolysis of 50 g / l pretreated biomass, 18.1 g / l glucose and 9.12 g / l xylose were released after 24 h, while the control (untreated biomass) showed a negligible amount of sugar release after hydrolysis. The recovery of nanoparticles after delignification was almost 50% of the initial concentration. The recovered catalyst was further recycled and reused, providing 37.1% delignification in the second pass and 30.8% in the third pass. The results obtained in the current study therefore prove the feasibility of the enzyme used, which mimics nanoparticles, in order to enable lignin degradation and the release of fermentable sugar in an environmentally friendly way.


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