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Keywords:

  • enzymatic hydrolysis;
  • cellulases;
  • Trichoderma reesei;
  • Aspergillus niger;
  • biorefinery;
  • saccharification;
  • solid-state fermentation;
  • whole medium;
  • sugarcane bagasse

The enzymatic hydrolysis of steam-exploded sugarcane bagasse (SESB) was investigated using enzymatic extracts (EE) and whole fermentation media (WM), produced in-house, from Aspergillus niger 3T5B8 and Trichoderma reesei Rut-C30 cultivated on wheat bran under solid-state fermentation (SSF). A detailed and quantitative comparison of the different hydrolysis conditions tested was carried out using the Chrastil approach for modeling enzymatic reactions by fitting the experimental data of total reducing sugar (TRS) released according to hydrolysis time. Conversion of SESB using A. niger enzymatic complex were up to 3.2-fold higher (in terms of TRS) than T. reesei at similar enzyme loadings, which could be correlated to the higher β-glucosidase levels (up to 35-fold higher) of A. niger enzymatic complex. Conversion yields after 72 h exceeded 40% in terms of TRS when the WM was supplemented with a low dosage of a commercial enzyme preparation. When the combination of WM (from either T. reesei or A. niger) and commercial cellulase was used, the dosage of the commercial enzyme could be reduced by half, while still providing a hydrolysis that was up to 36% more efficient. Furthermore, SESB hydrolysis using either EE or WM resulted in similar yields, indicating that the enzyme extraction/filtration steps could be eliminated from the overall process. This procedure is highly advantageous in terms of reduced enzyme and process costs, and also avoids the generation of unnecessary effluent streams. Thus, the enzymatic conversion of SESB using the WM from SSF is cost-effective and compatible with the biorefinery concept. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 29:1430–1440, 2013