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Ultrasonic Pretreatment of Corn Slurry in Batch and Continuous Systems

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2009 Reno, Nevada, June 21 - June 24, 2009  097420.(doi:10.13031/2013.27368)
Authors:   Melissa Montalbo-Lomboy, Samir Kumar Khanal, J (Hans) van Leeuwen, D Raj Raman, Larson, Jr Dunn, David Grewell
Keywords:   Corn slurry, ultrasonics, enzymatic hydrolysis, particle size, batch and continuous systems

The effects of ultrasonication of corn slurry, on particle size distribution and enzymatic hydrolysis was studied for the dry-grind mill ethanol industry. Two independent ultrasonic experiments were conducted at a frequency of 20 kHz; in batch and continuous systems. The ground corn slurry (33% m/v) was pumped at flow rates 10-28 L/min in continuous flow experiments, and sonicated at constant amplitude (20mpeak-to-peak(p-p)). Ultrasonic batch experiments were conducted at varying amplitudes of 192-320mp-p. After ultrasonication, StargenTM001 enzyme was added to the samples and a short 3h hydrolysis followed. The treated samples were found to yield 2-3 times more reducing sugar compared to the control (untreated) samples. In terms of energy density, the batch ultrasonic system was found to deliver 25-times more energy than the continuous flow systems. Although the experiments conducted in continuous system released less reducing sugar than the batch system, the continuous system was more energy efficient. The particle size of the sonicated corn slurry (both batch and continuous) was reduced relative to the controls (without treatment). The reduction of particle size was directly proportional to the energy input during sonication. The study suggests that both batch and continuous flow ultrasonic systems enhances enzymatic hydrolysis yield, reduces particle size of corn slurry and could be a potential effective pretreatment for corn slurry.

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