Liquefaction of corn stover and preparation of polyester from the liquefied polyol

Fei Yu, Yuhuan Liu, Xuejun Pan, Xiangyang Lin, Chengmei Liu, Paul Chen, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This research investigated a novel process to prepare polyester from corn stover through liquefaction and crosslinking processes. First, corn stover was liquefied in organic solvents (90 wt% ethylene glycol and 10 wt% ethylene carbonate) with catalysts at moderate temperature under atmospheric pressure. The effect of liquefaction temperature, biomass content, and type of catalyst, such as H2SO4, HCl, H3PO4, and ZnCl2, was evaluated. Higher liquefaction yield was achieved in 2 wt% sulfuric acid, 1/4 (w/w) stover to liquefying reagent ratio; 160°C temperature, in 2 h. The liquefied corn stover was rich in polyols, which can be directly used as feedstock for making polymers without further separation or purification. Second, polyester was made from the liquefied corn stover by crosslinking with multifunctional carboxylic acids and/or cyclic acid anhydrides. The tensile strength of polyester is about 5 MPa and the elongation is around 35%. The polyester is stable in cold water and organic solvents and readily biodegradable as indicated by 82% weight loss when buried in damp soil for 10 mo. The results indicate that this novel polyester could be used for the biodegradable garden mulch film production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-585
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Biodegradability
  • Liquefaction
  • Polyester
  • Solubility
  • Strength


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