Consolidated bioprocessing of surfactant-assisted ionic liquid-pretreated Parthenium hysterophorus L. biomass for bioethanol production.
The current study presents the first ever report of surfactant (Tween-20) assisted ionic liquid IL, (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium methane sulphonate [Emim][MeSO3]) pretreatment of Parthenium hysterophorus biomass, its saccharification by in-house developed enzyme cocktail from Aspergillus aculeatus PN14, and fermentation of sugars to bioethanol under consolidated bioprocess. Optimization of pretreatment process variables viz. biomass loading, temperature and time, resulted in enhanced sugar yield (40.1%) upon saccharification of pretreated biomass with IL-stable cellulase and xylanase enzymes from an IL-tolerant newly isolated fungus Aspergillus aculeatus PN14. Physicochemical analysis of surfactant assisted IL-pretreated biomass by SEM, FT-IR and XRD provided molecular insights into inter/intra molecular ultrastructural changes in the biomass that eased the saccharification. Thorough understanding of chemical/molecular structure of biomass may help developing customized pretreatment regimes of apt severity which might result in enhanced accessibility of enzymes to biomass, and hence more sugar content.