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Keywords:

  • cellulases;
  • bioconversion;
  • hydrolysis;
  • lignocellulosic;
  • cellulose;
  • xylan;
  • corn stover

Abstract

To try to improve hydrolysis yields at elevated solids loadings, a comparison was made between batch and fed-batch addition of fresh substrate at the initial and later phases of hydrolysis. Both ethanol (EPCS) and steam-pretreated corn stover (SPCS) substrates were tested at low (5 FPU) and high (60 FPU) loadings of cellulase per gram of cellulose. The fed-batch addition of fresh substrate resulted in a slight decrease in hydrolysis yields when compared with the corresponding batch reactions. A 72-h hydrolysis of the SPCS substrate resulted in a hydrolysis yield of 66% compared with 51% for the EPCS substrate. When the enzyme adsorption and substrate characteristics were assessed during batch and fed-batch hydrolysis, it appeared that the irreversible binding of cellulases to the more recalcitrant original substrate limited their access to the freshly added substrate. After 72-h hydrolysis of the SPCS substrate at low enzyme loadings, ∼40–50% of the added cellulases were desorbed into solution, whereas only 20% of the added enzyme was released from the EPCS substrate. Both simultaneous and sequential treatments with xylanases and cellulases resulted in an up to a 20% increase in hydrolysis yields for both substrates at low enzyme loading. Simons' stain measurements indicated that xylanase treatment increased cellulose access, thus facilitating cellulose hydrolysis. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011