Corncob-based biorefinery: A comprehensive review of pretreatment methodologies, and biorefinery platforms

Pradeep Kumar Gandam, Madhavi Latha Chinta, Ninian Prem Prashanth Pabbathi, Aditya Velidandi, Minaxi Sharma, Ramesh Chander Kuhad, Meisam Tabatabaei, Mortaza Aghbashlo, Rama Raju Baadhe*, Vijai Kumar Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


The xylan richness and comparatively lower extractives and ash, make the corncob lignocellulose an excellent source for many biorefinery products and objectives. The unique packing of lignocellulose material in corncob makes it susceptible to different pretreatment approaches that are less effective on other types of biomass feedstocks. More specifically, after pretreating corncob, up to 99% delignification, 100% hemicellulose solubilization, and around 95% cellulose recovery can be achieved. Accordingly, corncob-derived chemical platforms have found many applications ranging from conventional use to newer products like supercapacitors. Platform sugars and ethanol have been the major products derived from corncob's cellulose and hemicellulose, whereas the production of xylooligosaccharides is the second most reported objective. Corncob lignin is mostly valorized for its phenols. Traditional and emerging pretreatment approaches, were reported, and in some reports, corncob-lignocellulose is valorized without a pretreatment. The data reported over the past fifty years on the corncob pretreatment in the SCOPUS database was compiled and analyzed throughout this review. The efficiency of different pretreatment methodologies and their effect on downstream yields were compared in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-308
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Energy Institute
Early online date10 Jan 2022
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research work was supported by the Department of Science & Technology-Science and Engineering Research Board (DST-SERB), India , for Early Career Research grant Reference No. ECR/2015/000076 . V.K.G. would like to acknowledge the institutional research funding supported by the Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), UK.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Energy Institute


  • Biorefinery
  • Corncob
  • Lignocellulose
  • Pretreatment
  • Valorization


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