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Determination of Surface Accessibility of the Cellulose Substrate According to Enzyme Sorption.

Polymers (2019-07-22)
Ekaterina M Podgorbunskikh, Aleksey L Bychkov, Oleg I Lomovsky
ABSTRACT

As a heterogeneous process, enzymatic hydrolysis depends on the contact area between enzymes and the cellulose substrate. The surface area of a substrate is typically evaluated through the sorption of gases (nitrogen, argon, or water vapor) or sorption of high-molecular-weight pigments or proteins. However, lignocellulosic biomass uninvolved in the reaction because of inefficient binding or even the complete inhibition of the enzymes on the surface consisting of lignin or inorganic compounds is erroneously taken into account under these conditions. The initial rate of enzymatic hydrolysis will directly depend on the number of enzymes efficiently sorbed onto cellulose. In this study, the sorption of cellulolytic enzymes was used to evaluate the surface accessibility of the cellulose substrate and its changes during mechanical pretreatment. It was demonstrated that for pure cellulose, mechanical activation did not alter the chemical composition of the surface and the initial rate of hydrolysis increased, which was inconsistent with the data on the thermal desorption of nitrogen. New active cellulose sorption sites were shown to be formed upon. the mechanical activation of plant biomass (wheat straw), and the ultimate initial rate of hydrolysis corresponding to saturation of the accessible surface area with enzyme molecules was determined.