Improved Hydrolysis of Pretreated Lignocellulosic Biomass using Mobile Enzyme Sequestration Platforms

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Article - Abstract Only

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bioethanol, cellulosic ethanol, enzyme platforms, lignocellulose degradation


On a large commercial scale, cellulosic ethanol, a “second-generation” biofuel, has yet to become cost competitive with fossil fuel-based liquid fuel products (e.g., gasoline). In an effort to lower the per-gallon production cost of bioethanol, two stages within the production process have been the subject of intense investigation: pretreatment; and, enzymatic hydrolysis. In general, the development of advanced pretreatments is aimed at disrupting interactions between cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin as well as enhancing the exposure of the cellulose network to sugar reducing (e.g., hydrolytic) enzymes. The identification of novel enzymes, the engineering of enzymes, and the use of platforms that enhance enzymatic efficiency comprise a second area of research focus. In this study, we present data showing that the use of a NASA-developed mobile enzyme sequestration platform (mESP) is effective in enhancing sugar reduction efficiency on acid- and alkaline- pretreated cellulosic feedstock. Further advancement of this technology could contribute to the development of a cost-competitive cellulosic ethanol product.


This work was supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation under grant #0803199 (PI-Ceballos) and grant #0929484 (PI-Ceballos). Support was also provided by the Environmental Microbiology and Biochemistry Research Station (EMBRS, LLC).

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