Pure cellulose (Avicel) was hydrolyzed batchwise at 50°C and pH 4.8 by cellulase from Trichoderma viride (Meicelase CEP). Then the effects of the crystallinity of cellulose as well as the thermal deactivation and product (cellubiose and glucose) inhibition to cellulose on the hydrolysis rate were quantitatively investigated. While these factor had evidently retarded the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose to a significant extent, the hydrolysis rates observed could not be explained. For practical purposes, an empirical, simple rate expression was developed which included only one parameter: a overall rate retardation constant. This empirical rate expression held for the hydrolysis of at least two kind of cellulosic materials: Avicel and tissue paper.
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