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Background: The research aimed to improve the overall conversion efficiency of the CTec® family of enzymes by identifying factors that lead to inhibition and seeking methods to overcome these through process modification and manipulation. The starting material was pulp derived from municipal solid waste and processed in an industrial-scale washing plant. Results: Analysis of the pulp by acid hydrolysis showed a ratio of 55: 12: 6: 24: 3 of glucan: xylan: araban/galactan/mannan: lignin: ash. At high total solids content (>18.5% TS) single-stage enzyme hydrolysis gave a maximum glucan conversion of 68%. It was found that two-stage hydrolysis could give higher conversion if sugar inhibition was removed by an intermediate fermentation step between hydrolysis stages. This, however, was not as effective as direct removal of the sugar products, including xylose, by washing of the residual pulp at pH 5. This improved the water availability and allowed reactivation of the pulp-bound enzymes. Inhibition of enzyme activity could further be alleviated by replenishment of β-glucosidase which was shown to be removed during the wash step. Conclusions: The two-stage hydrolysis process developed could give an overall glucan conversion of 88%, with an average glucose concentration close to 8% in 4 days, thus providing an ideal starting point for ethanol fermentation with a likely yield of 4 wt%. This is a significant improvement over a single-step process. This hydrolysis configuration also provides the potential to recover the sugars associated with residual solids which are diluted when washing hydrolysed pulp. © 2013 Puri et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Puri, D. J., Heaven, S., & Banks, C. J. (2013). Improving the performance of enzymes in hydrolysis of high solids paper pulp derived from MSW. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1754-6834-6-107
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