Sugarcane bagasse is an agroindustrial residue generated in large amounts in Brazil. This biomass can be used for the production of cellulases, aiming at their use in second-generation processes for bioethanol production. Therefore, this work reports the ability of a fungal strain, Trichoderma harzianum IOC-4038, to produce cellulases on a novel material, xylan free and cellulose rich, generated from sugarcane bagasse, named partially delignified cellulignin. The extract produced by T. harzianum under submerged conditions reached 745, 97, and 559 U L(-1) of β-glucosidase, FPase, and endoglucanase activities, respectively. The partial characterization of this enzyme complex indicated, using a dual analysis, that the optimal pH values for the biocatalysis ranged from 4.9 to 5.2 and optimal temperatures were between 47 and 54 °C, depending on the activity studied. Thermal stability analyses revealed no significant decrease in activity at 37 °C during 23 h of incubation. When compared to model strains, Aspergillus niger ATCC-16404 and Trichoderma reesei RutC30, T. harzianum fermentation was faster and its extract showed a better balanced enzyme complex, with adequate characteristics for its application in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation processes.
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