Enzymatic hydrolysis of steam-pretreated lignocellulosic materials with Trichoderma atroviride enzymes produced in-house
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Background: Improvement of the process of cellulase production and development of more efficient lignocellulose-degrading enzymes are necessary in order to reduce the cost of enzymes required in the biomass-to-bioethanol process. Results: Lignocellulolytic enzyme complexes were produced by the mutant Trichoderma atroviride TUB F-1663 on three different steam-pretreated lignocellulosic substrates, namely spruce, wheat straw and sugarcane bagasse. Filter paper activities of the enzymes produced on the three materials were very similar, while beta-glucosidase and hemicellulase activities were more dependent on the nature of the substrate. Hydrolysis of the enzyme preparations investigated produced similar glucose yields. However, the enzymes produced in-house proved to degrade the xylan and the xylose oligomers less efficiently than a commercial mixture of cellulase and beta-glucosidase. Furthermore, accumulation of xylose oligomers was observed when the TUB F-1663 supernatants were applied to xylan-containing substrates, probably due to the low beta-xylosidase activity of the enzymes. The efficiency of the enzymes produced in-house was enhanced by supplementation with extra commercial beta-glucosidase and beta-xylosidase. When the hydrolytic capacities of various mixtures of a commercial cellulase and a T. atroviride supernatant produced in the lab were investigated at the same enzyme loading, the glucose yield appeared to be correlated with the beta-glucosidase activity, while the xylose yield seemed to be correlated with the beta-xylosidase level in the mixtures. Conclusion: Enzyme supernatants produced by the mutant T. atroviride TUB F-1663 on various pretreated lignocellulosic substrates have good filter paper activity values combined with high levels of beta-glucosidase activities, leading to cellulose conversion in the enzymatic hydrolysis that is as efficient as with a commercial cellulase mixture. On the other hand, in order to achieve good xylan conversion, the supernatants produced by the mutant have to be supplemented with additional beta-xylosidase activity.