Submitted to: Great Lakes Regional American Chemical Society Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2004
Publication Date: 10/20/2004
Citation: Li, X., Jordan, D.B., Dien, B.S., Cotta, M.A., Kane, P.M. 2004. Advances on enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulosic biomass [abstract]. Great Lakes Regional American Chemical Society. Paper No. 04-035. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The raw material for manufacturing most fermentation products such as fuels and feed-stock chemicals is glucose, produced by hydrolyzing starch. As production of fuel ethanol and other commodity chemicals continues to surge, supply of starch from grain crops may limit future expansion. Therefore, developing technologies to supply inexpensive sugars from alternative biomass sources will become critically important. Lignocellulose, the most abundant organic reservoir on earth, is composed of mostly cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. These constituents are physically and chemically inter-linked. Releasing fermentable sugars (e.g., glucose, xylose, arabinose, galactose, and mannose) present in biomass with current technologies requires treating the biomass at high temperatures with mineral acids. Enzymes capable of hydrolyzing the numerous glycosidic and ester bonds present in cellulose and hemicellulose have been identified from various microbial sources. Applying a consortium of these hydrolytic enzymes is required for the complete saccharification of cellulose and hemicellulose after chemical or physical delignification. Efficient commercial enzyme products developed for lignocellulose conversion, particularly those for cellulose hydrolysis, are on the horizon after many years of intensive research and development efforts. This presentation will address the promises and challenges facing the enzymatic conversion of lignocellulose with particular emphasis on hemicellulose hydrolysis.