Cellulase enzyme is a key cost component in the production of fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. Cellulolytic ability of the enzyme preparation is often measured by activity assays using model substrates such as filter paper. Using lignocellulosic biomass as the substrate to assess enzyme performance has the potential of being more process relevant. We describe two procedures that use washed pretreated cellulosic material to measure the efficacy of cellulase enzymes. First, a saccharification assay that measures glucose yield as a function of the amount of cellulase used in the process. And second, the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) assay measures cellulase performance by the amount of ethanol produced from enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulosic material. You can use both assays to screen cellulases under a variety of substrate types, loadings, and process conditions.
Dowe, N. (2009). Assessing cellulase performance on pretreated lignocellulosic biomass using saccharification and fermentation-based protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60761-214-8_15