Date of Award

Fall 2017

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Committee Chair

Dr. Sarah Morgan

Committee Chair Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Committee Member 2

Dr. James Rawlins

Committee Member 2 Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Committee Member 3

Dr. Jeffrey Wiggins

Committee Member 3 Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Abstract

Pre-fermentation mash fiber and post-distillation stillage fiber were examined and compared using a variety of preparatory techniques to determine the better source for cellulose fiber saccharification. Once screened, dried, and diluted to a 10% solution, mash fiber and stillage fiber were exposed to increasing temperatures for steam explosion techniques as well as increasing acidification techniques. Both underwent enzymatic saccharification to convert the exposed cellulose to glucose and other sugars. Once the optimum steam explosion technique parameters and acidification parameters were determined to be 2.5% sulfuric acid at 127.8°C for 1 hour, a comparison of the saccharification of pre-fermentation mash fiber and post-distillation stillage fiber under these conditions was conducted. While both are capable sources, post-fermentative stillage provides more fiber (64.18%) that shows approximately 6% greater ability of being degraded than the available fiber content in pre-fermentation mash, which was only 60.92% of the original dried sample.

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