Bioresource technology

Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose dissolved in N-methyl morpholine oxide/water solutions.

PMID 19793649


In situ hydrolysis of cellulose (dissolving pulp) in N-methyl morpholine oxide (NMMO) solutions by commercially available Accellerase1000 is carried out. The yield of reducing sugars is followed as a function of time at three different temperatures and four different enzyme loadings to study the effect of system parameters on enzymatic hydrolysis. Initial results show that rates of hydrolysis of cellulose and yields of reducing sugars in the presence of NMMO-water is superior initially (ratio of initial reaction rates approximately 4) and comparable to that of regenerated cellulose (for times greater than 5h) when suspended in aqueous solutions. The usage of Accellerase1000 results predominantly in the formation of glucose with minimal amounts of cellobiose. This study proves the ability of cellulases to remain active in NMMO to carry out an in situ saccharification of cellulose thus eliminating the need to recover regenerated cellulose. Thus this work will form the basis for developing a continuous process for conversion of biomass to hydrogen, ethanol and other hydrocarbons.

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