The methods of pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass using aqueous ammonia are described. The main effect of ammonia treatment of biomass is delignification without significantly affecting the carbohydrate contents. It is a very effective pretreatment method especially for substrates that have low lignin contents such as agricultural residues and herbaceous feedstock. The ammonia-based pretreatment is well suited for simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation (SSCF) because the treated biomass retains cellulose as well as hemicellulose. It has been demonstrated that overall ethanol yield above 75% of the theoretical maximum on the basis of total carbohydrate is achievable from corn stover pretreated with aqueous ammonia by way of SSCF. There are two different types of pretreatment methods based on aqueous ammonia: (1) high severity, low contact time process (ammonia recycle percolation; ARP), (2) low severity, high treatment time process (soaking in aqueous ammonia; SAA). Both of these methods are described and discussed for their features and effectiveness.
Kim, T. H., Gupta, R., & Lee, Y. Y. (2009). Pretreatment of biomass by aqueous ammonia for bioethanol production. Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60761-214-8_6