Introducing low-quality feedstocks in bioethanol production: efficient conversion of the lignocellulose fraction of animal bedding through steam pretreatment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Animal bedding remains an underutilized source of raw material for bioethanol production, despite the economic and environmental benefits of its use. Further research concerning the optimization of the production process is needed, as previously tested pretreatment methods have not increased the conversion efficiency to the levels necessary for commercialization of the process.

We propose steam pretreatment of animal bedding, consisting of a mixture of straw and cow manure, to deliver higher ethanol yields. The temperature, residence time and pH were optimized through response-surface modeling, where pretreatment was evaluated based on the ethanol yield obtained through simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of the whole pretreated slurry. The results show that the best conditions for steam pretreatment are 200 °C, for 5 min at pH 2, at which an ethanol yield of about 70% was obtained. Moreover, the model also showed that the pH had the greatest influence on the ethanol yield, followed by the temperature and then the residence time.

Based on these results, it appears that steam pretreatment could unlock the potential of animal bedding, as the same conversion efficiencies were achieved as for higher-quality feedstocks such as wheat straw.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Chemical Process Engineering


  • Animal bedding, Steam pretreatment, Bioethanol, Response-surface modelling
Original languageEnglish
Article number215
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 10
Publication categoryResearch