Corn stover ethanol yield as affected by grain yield, Bt trait, and environment

Pavani Tumbalam, Kurt D. Thelen, Andrew Adkins, Bruce Dale, Venkatesh Balan, Christa Gunawan, Juan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Literature values for glucose release from corn stover are highly variable which would likely result in tremendous variability in bio-refinery ethanol yield from corn stover feedstock. A relatively recent change in United States corn genetics is the inclusion of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) trait, which now accounts for three-fourths of all US planted corn acreage. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of corn grain yield, inclusion of the Bt trait, and location environment on corn stover quality for subsequent ethanol conversion. Two hybrid pairs (each having a Bt and non-Bt near-isoline) were analyzed giving a total of 4 hybrids. In 2010 and 2011, field plots were located in Michigan at four latitudinal differing locations in four replicated plots at each location. Stover composition and enzymatic digestibility was analyzed and estimated ethanol yield (g g-1) was calculated based on hydrolyzable glucan and xylan levels. Analysis showed that there were no significant differences in total glucose or xylose levels nor in enzymatically hydrolyzable glucan and xylan concentrations between Bt corn stover and the non-Bt stover isolines. Regression analyses between corn grain yield (Mg ha-1) and corn stover ethanol yield (g g-1) showed an inverse relationship indicative of a photosynthate source-sink relationship. Nevertheless, the quantity of stover produced was found to be more critical than the quality of stover produced in maximizing potential stover ethanol yield on a land area basis.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages119-125
Number of pages7
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Volume85
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Profile

stover
corn stover
Bacilli
Bacillus thuringiensis
ethanol
Ethanol
grain yield
maize
corn
xylan
isogenic lines
glucans
Glucose
source-sink relationships
glucose
Xylose
photosynthates
enzymatic hydrolysis
feedstocks
xylose

Keywords

  • Bioenergy
  • Bioethanol
  • Biofuels
  • Bt trait
  • Corn stover
  • Lignocellulosic ethanol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Corn stover ethanol yield as affected by grain yield, Bt trait, and environment. / Tumbalam, Pavani; Thelen, Kurt D.; Adkins, Andrew; Dale, Bruce; Balan, Venkatesh; Gunawan, Christa; Gao, Juan.

In: Biomass and Bioenergy, Vol. 85, 01.02.2016, p. 119-125.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tumbalam, Pavani ; Thelen, Kurt D. ; Adkins, Andrew ; Dale, Bruce ; Balan, Venkatesh ; Gunawan, Christa ; Gao, Juan. / Corn stover ethanol yield as affected by grain yield, Bt trait, and environment. In: Biomass and Bioenergy. 2016 ; Vol. 85. pp. 119-125
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