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Rapid and Complete Enzyme Hydrolysis of Lignocellulosic Nanofibrils

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journal contribution
posted on 20.11.2012, 00:00 authored by Raquel Martin-Sampedro, Ilari Filpponen, Ingrid C. Hoeger, J. Y. Zhu, Janne Laine, Orlando J. Rojas
Rapid enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulosic nanofibrils (LCNF) was investigated by monitoring nanoscale changes in mass via quartz crystal microgravimetry and also by measuring reducing sugar yields. In only a few minutes LCNF thin films were completely hydrolyzed upon incubation in multicomponent enzyme systems. Conversion to sugars and oligosaccharides of LCNF dispersed in water occurred in about 4 h (50 °C, pH 5). In contrast, a conversion of only 57% was observed for partially crystalline cellulose (Avicel) after 9 h, under same experimental conditions. Under conditions of high enzyme loading the presence of residual lignin and other macromolecules in the cell wall of LCNF did not appear to affect negatively the recorded high hydrolysis rates. Overall, our findings suggest that deconstruction of the cell wall to nanofibrils is an effective pretreatment to facilitate rapid and complete cellulose bioconversion.