Get access

On a novel mechanistic model for simultaneous enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose considering morphology



We develop a novel and general modeling framework for enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose simultaneously. Our mechanistic model, for the first time, takes into consideration explicitly the time evolution of morphologies of intertwining cellulose and hemicelluloses within substrate during enzymatic hydrolysis. This morphology evolution is driven by hydrolytic chain fragmentation and solubilization, which is, in return, profoundly affected by the substrate morphology. We represent the substrate morphology as a randomly distributed smallest accessible compartments (SACs) which are described by geometric functions to track total volume and exposed surface substrate materials, including both cellulose and hemicelluloses. Our morphology-plus-kinetics approach then couple the time-dependent morphology with chain fragmentation and solubilization resulted from enzymatic reactions between various bonds in cellulose and hemicelluloses and a mixture (i.e., endo-, exo-, and oligomer- acting) of cellulases and hemicellulases. In addition, we propose an advanced and generalized site concentration formalism that considers different polysaccharide chain types and different monomer unit types on chains. The resulting ODE system has a substantially reduced size compared to conventional chain concentration formalism. We present numerical simulation results under real enzymatic hydrolysis experimental conditions from literature. The comparisons between the simulation results and the experiment measurements demonstrate effectiveness and wide applicability of the proposed mechanistic model. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2014;111: 1767–1781. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.