Wheat Straw Optimization via its Efficient Pretreatment for Improved Biogas Production

Muhammad Jaffar Memon, Abdul Rehman Memon


The complex indigenous configuration of non-bio-labile wheat straw necessitates its pretreatment to optimize the breakdown of its structural components for its ultimate conversion into biogas by means of anaerobic digestion. In this research work, wheat straw was pretreated with potassium hydroxide (KOH) to facilitate its improved biodegradability. The pretreatment of wheat straw was also obvious in terms of its crystallinity resulting in the improved amorphous regions compared to the control wheat straw. The results showed that pretreated wheat straw digestion transpired into comparatively higher removal of TS (86%), VS (89%) and total lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose (22%) than that obtained with control wheat straw. Maximum biogas production accrued was 1550 mLN per day with optimized dosing of KOH compared to 967 mLN per day obtained with control wheat straw, implying that the cumulative biogas production was improved by 45% using pretreated wheat straw than that using control wheat straw. These results suggested that pretreated wheat straw digestion led to a significant improvement in the biogas yield.


Wheat Straw; Pretreatment; Hydrolysis; Lignocellulose; Anaerobic Digestion; Biogas.


Cakir, Ali Kemal. “Investigation and Evaluation of Potential Options to Determine the Methane Gas.” Civil Engineering Journal 4, no. 8 (August 27, 2018): 1824. doi:10.28991/cej-03091117.

Griffin, Matt E., Katherine D. McMahon, Roderick I. Mackie, and Lutgarde Raskin. "Methanogenic population dynamics during start‐up of anaerobic digesters treating municipal solid waste and biosolids." Biotechnology and bioengineering 57, no. 3 (1998): 342-355. doi:10.1002/(sici)1097-0290(19980205)57:3%3C342::aid-bit11%3E3.0.co;2-i.

Yu, Qiong, Ronghou Liu, Kun Li, and Ruijie Ma. “A Review of Crop Straw Pretreatment Methods for Biogas Production by Anaerobic Digestion in China.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 107 (June 2019): 51–58. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2019.02.020.

Jaffar, Muhammad, Hairong Yuan, Dexun Zou, Yanping Liu, Rashid Mustafa Korai, Yunzhi Pang, and Xiujin Li. "Wheat straw pretreatment with potassium hydroxide for enhanced biogasification and fertilizer value." Fresenius Environmental Bulletin 24, no. 10b (2015): 3491-3498.

Zheng, Yi, Jia Zhao, Fuqing Xu, and Yebo Li. “Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Enhanced Biogas Production.” Progress in Energy and Combustion Science 42 (June 2014): 35–53. doi:10.1016/j.pecs.2014.01.001.

Mancini, Gabriele, Stefano Papirio, Piet N.L. Lens, and Giovanni Esposito. “Increased Biogas Production from Wheat Straw by Chemical Pretreatments.” Renewable Energy 119 (April 2018): 608–614. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2017.12.045.

Zhong, Weizhang, Zhongzhi Zhang, Yijing Luo, Shanshan Sun, Wei Qiao, and Meng Xiao. “Effect of Biological Pretreatments in Enhancing Corn Straw Biogas Production.” Bioresource Technology 102, no. 24 (December 2011): 11177–11182. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2011.09.077.

Liew, Lo Niee, Jian Shi, and Yebo Li. “Methane Production from Solid-State Anaerobic Digestion of Lignocellulosic Biomass.” Biomass and Bioenergy 46 (November 2012): 125–132. doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.09.014.

Kim, Moonkyung, Byung-Chul Kim, Kyoungphile Nam, and Yongju Choi. “Effect of Pretreatment Solutions and Conditions on Decomposition and Anaerobic Digestion of Lignocellulosic Biomass in Rice Straw.” Biochemical Engineering Journal 140 (December 2018): 108–114. doi:10.1016/j.bej.2018.09.012.

Donoso-Bravo, A., C. Retamal, M. Carballa, G. Ruiz-Filippi, and R. Chamy. “Influence of Temperature on the Hydrolysis, Acidogenesis and Methanogenesis in Mesophilic Anaerobic Digestion: Parameter Identification and Modeling Application.” Water Science and Technology 60, no. 1 (July 1, 2009): 9–17. doi:10.2166/wst.2009.316.

Banerjee, A., P. Elefsiniotis, and D. Tuhtar. “Effect of HRT and Temperature on the Acidogenesis of Municipal Primary Sludge and Industrial Wastewater.” Water Science and Technology 38, no. 8–9 (October 1, 1998): 417–423. doi:10.2166/wst.1998.0833.

Mancini, Gabriele, Stefano Papirio, Gerardo Riccardelli, Piet N.L. Lens, and Giovanni Esposito. “Trace Elements Dosing and Alkaline Pretreatment in the Anaerobic Digestion of Rice Straw.” Bioresource Technology 247 (January 2018): 897–903. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2017.10.001.

Lettinga, G. “Challenge of Psychrophilic Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment.” Trends in Biotechnology 19, no. 9 (September 1, 2001): 363–370. doi:10.1016/s0167-7799(01)01701-2.

Zhang, R. “Biogasification of Rice Straw with an Anaerobic-Phased Solids Digester System.” Bioresource Technology 68, no. 3 (June 1999): 235–245. doi:10.1016/s0960-8524(98)00154-0.

APHA AWWA, W. E. F. "Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater 20th edition." American Public Health Association, American Water Work Association, Water Environment Federation, Washington, DC (1998).

He, Yanfeng, Yunzhi Pang, Yanping Liu, Xiujin Li, and Kuisheng Wang. “Physicochemical Characterization of Rice Straw Pretreated with Sodium Hydroxide in the Solid State for Enhancing Biogas Production.” Energy & Fuels 22, no. 4 (July 2008): 2775–2781. doi:10.1021/ef8000967.

Kaparaju, Prasad, María Serrano, Anne Belinda Thomsen, Prawit Kongjan, and Irini Angelidaki. “Bioethanol, Biohydrogen and Biogas Production from Wheat Straw in a Biorefinery Concept.” Bioresource Technology 100, no. 9 (May 2009): 2562–2568. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2008.11.011.

Wałowski, Grzegorz. “Experimental Assessment of Porous Material Anisotropy and Its Effect on Gas Permeability.” Civil Engineering Journal 4, no. 4 (May 3, 2018): 906. doi:10.28991/cej-0309143.

Liu, Xiaoying, Steven M. Zicari, Guangqing Liu, Yeqing Li, and Ruihong Zhang. “Pretreatment of Wheat Straw with Potassium Hydroxide for Increasing Enzymatic and Microbial Degradability.” Bioresource Technology 185 (June 2015): 150–157. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2015.02.047.

Sharma, Rajat, Vijaykumar Palled, Ratna R. Sharma-Shivappa, and Jason Osborne. “Potential of Potassium Hydroxide Pretreatment of Switchgrass for Fermentable Sugar Production.” Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 169, no. 3 (December 29, 2012): 761–772. doi:10.1007/s12010-012-0009-x.

Gray, Kevin A, Lishan Zhao, and Mark Emptage. “Bioethanol.” Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 10, no. 2 (April 2006): 141–146. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2006.02.035.

Sambusiti, C., E. Ficara, F. Malpei, J.P. Steyer, and H. Carrère. “Effect of Sodium Hydroxide Pretreatment on Physical, Chemical Characteristics and Methane Production of Five Varieties of Sorghum.” Energy 55 (June 2013): 449–456. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2013.04.025.

Zheng, Mingxia, Xiujin Li, Laiqing Li, Xiaojin Yang, and Yanfeng He. “Enhancing Anaerobic Biogasification of Corn Stover through Wet State NaOH Pretreatment.” Bioresource Technology 100, no. 21 (November 2009): 5140–5145. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2009.05.045.

Goto, Masakazu, and Yasuhiko Yokoe. “Ammoniation of Barley Straw. Effect on Cellulose Crystallinity and Water-Holding Capacity.” Animal Feed Science and Technology 58, no. 3–4 (May 1996): 239–247. doi:10.1016/0377-8401(95)00903-5.

Liu, C.F., F. Xu, J.X. Sun, J.L. Ren, S. Curling, R.C. Sun, P. Fowler, and M.S. Baird. “Physicochemical Characterization of Cellulose from Perennial Ryegrass Leaves (Lolium Perenne).” Carbohydrate Research 341, no. 16 (November 2006): 2677–2687. doi:10.1016/j.carres.2006.07.008.

Kim, Sehoon, and Mark T. Holtzapple. “Effect of Structural Features on Enzyme Digestibility of Corn Stover.” Bioresource Technology 97, no. 4 (March 2006): 583–591. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2005.03.040.

Ward, A.J., and M.S. Kumar. “Bio-Conversion Rate and Optimum Harvest Intervals for Moina Australiensis Using Digested Piggery Effluent and Chlorella Vulgaris as a Food Source.” Bioresource Technology 101, no. 7 (April 2010): 2210–2216. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2009.11.053.

López González, Lisbet Mailin, Han Vervaeren, Ileana Pereda Reyes, Ann Dumoulin, Osvaldo Romero Romero, and Jo Dewulf. “Thermo-Chemical Pre-Treatment to Solubilize and Improve Anaerobic Biodegradability of Press Mud.” Bioresource Technology 131 (March 2013): 250–257. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2012.12.167.

Taherdanak, Mohsen, and Hamid Zilouei. “Improving Biogas Production from Wheat Plant Using Alkaline Pretreatment.” Fuel 115 (January 2014): 714–719. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2013.07.094.

Yang, Dongyan, Yunzhi PANG, Hairong Yuan, Shulin Chen, Jingwei MA, Liang Yu, and Xiujin Li. “Enhancing Biogas Production from Anaerobically Digested Wheat Straw Through Ammonia Pretreatment.” Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering 22, no. 5 (May 2014): 576–582. doi:10.1016/s1004-9541(14)60075-6.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/cej-2020-03091528


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Muhammad Jaffar

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.