Optimization of Ethylene Glycol Production Process from Bio Mass (Corn Cob) Using Response Surface Methodology (RSM)

Perpetua G. Bassey *

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Uyo, Nigeria.

Erukaye, Damien Oghenevwegba

University of Uyo, PMB 1017, Uyo, Akwa, Ibom State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


This study focuses on the increasing global demand for Monoethylene Glycol (MEG) and its production from corncob through Catalytic Hydrogenation. The process was optimized using Design of Experiment (DOE) and Response Surface Methodology (RSM). Physiochemical properties of the produced MEG were found to align with ASTM standards. Physiochemical properties of the produced Monoethylene glycol (MEG) was determined to have the following; density 2.19g/cm3, specific gravity 1.077 at 20 oC, flash point 116.20 oC and viscosity 12.32mm2/s at 40 oC, this values is in agreement with the ASTM standard values for monoethylene glycol. The study utilized a central composite design (CCD) with 21 runs to assess the impact of key parameters on biomass hydrogenation, revealing a quadratic model, also Analysis of variance (ANOVA) shows a high coefficient of determination (R2) of >0.9932. Four parameters (mass ratio of binary catalyst, hydrogen pressure, temperature and mass ratio of catalyst to feedstock) were varied with two center points to determine the effects of process parameters and eventually to get optimum monoethylene glycol (MEG) yield. The optimized conditions yielded a MEG yield of 70.2wt.%, demonstrating the potential of corncob as a viable source for MEG production. This finding proved that corncob can be utilized to produce monoethylene glycol (MEG) which could be potentially used in many way.

Keywords: Monoethylene glycol, catalytic hydrogenation, Response Surface Methodology (RSM), corncob

How to Cite

Bassey, Perpetua G., and Erukaye, Damien Oghenevwegba. 2024. “Optimization of Ethylene Glycol Production Process from Bio Mass (Corn Cob) Using Response Surface Methodology (RSM)”. International Research Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry 25 (4):10-20. https://doi.org/10.9734/irjpac/2024/v25i4862.


Download data is not yet available.


Ayeni AO, Adeeyo OA, Oresegun OM, Oladimeji E. Compositional analysis of lignocellulosic materials: Evaluation of an economically viable method suitable for woody and non-woody biomass. American Journal of Engineering Research. 2015;(4):14–19.

Faria M, Thomas S, Pothan LA. Utilization of various lignocellulosic biomass for the production of nanocellulose: A comparative study. 2015;1075–1090.

Wang A, Zhang T. One-pot conversion of cellulose to ethylene glycol with multifunctional tungsten-based catalysts. Acc. Chemical. Reserve. 2013;46:1377–1386.

GlobalData Intelligence Center. (2023. Ethylene Gloycol Industry Installed Capacity and Capital Expenditure Forecasts Including Active and Planned Plants to 2027, Available:https://www.globaldata.com/store/report/ethylene-glycol-market-analysis/ [Accessed 24 December 2023].

Zhang Y, Nypelö T, Salas C, Arboleda J, Hoeger IC, Rojas OJ. Cellulose nanofibrils: From strong materials to bioactive surfaces. Journal of Renewable Materials. 2013;1(3):195–211.

Dufresne A. Preparation and properties of cellulosic nanomaterials. Journal of Siberian Federal University. Biology. 2021;14(4):422–441. DOI: 10.17516/1997-1389-0362

Yang, ST. Bioprocessing-from bio-technology to biorefinery. Bioprocessing for Value-Added Products from Renewable Resources. 2017;(1);1–24.

Zhou L, Wang A, Li C, Zheng M, Zhang T; Selective production of 1, 2-propylene glycol from Jerusalem Artichoke Tuber using Ni-W2C/AC catalysts. 2012;5:932–938.

Lee HV, Hamid SBA, Zain SK. Conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to nanocellulose: Structure and chemical process. Scientific World Journal; 2014.

Zhao G, Zheng M, Zhang J, Wang A, Zhang T. Catalytic conversion of concentrated glucose to ethylene glycol with semi-continuous reaction system. Independent Engineering. Chemical. Reserve. 2013;52:9566–9572.

Law PG, Sebran NH, Zawawi AZ, Hussain AS. Optimization study of biomass hydrogenation to ethylene glycol using response surface methodology. Processes. 2020;8(5):588.

Jifeng Pang, Mingyuan Zheng, Aiqin Wang, Tao Zhang. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. 2011;50 (11):6601-6608.

Xi J, Ding D, Shao Y, Liu X, Lu G, Wang Y. Production of ethylene glycol and its monoether derivative from cellulose. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 2014;2(10): 2355–2362.

Pointner M, Kuttner P, Obrlik T, Jager A, Kahr H. Composition of corncobs as a substrate for fermentation of biofuels Agronomy Research. 2014;12(2):391–6.

Isikgor FH, Becer CR. Lignocellulosic biomass: A sustainable platform for the production of bio-based chemicals and polymers. Polymer Chemistry. 2015; 6(25):4497–4559.

Kumar S, Negi YS, Upadhyaya JS. Studies on characterization of corn cob based nanoparticles. Advanced Materials Letters. 2010;1(3):246–253.

Baek IG, You SJ, Park ED. Direct conversion of cellulose into polyols over Ni/W/SiO2-Al2O3. Bioresource. Technology. 2012;114:684–690.

Zawawi AZ, Gaik LP, Sebran NH, Othman J, Hussain AS. An Optimisation study on biomass delignification process using alkaline wash Biomass Conversion Bio-refinery 2017;8:59–68.

Ji N, Zhang T, Zheng M, Wang A, Wang H, Wang X, Shu Y, Stottlemyer AL, Chen J. Catalytic conversion of cellulose into ethylene glycol over supported carbide catalysts. Catal. 2009;147:77–85.

Luo C, Wang S, Liu H. Cellulose conversion into polyols catalyzed by reversibly formed acids and supported ruthenium clusters in hot water. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007;46:7636–7639.