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How does enzymatic pretreatment affect the nanostructure and reaction space of lignocellulosic biomass?

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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IMAGE: Industrial Biotechnology, led by co-editors-in-chief Larry Walker, Ph.D., Biological and Environmental Engineering Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and Glenn Nedwin, Ph.D., Mo.T., CEO and President, Taxon Biosciences, Tiburon, Calif., is... view more

Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, December 18, 2014--Pretreatment of cellulosic biomass using cell wall degrading enzymes is a critical step in the release of sugars needed to produce biofuels and renewable, biobased chemicals and materials. A new study that demonstrates and quantifies the impact of enzymatic hydrolysis and drying on the nanostructure and available reaction volume of pretreated hardwoods and switchgrass is published in Industrial Biotechnology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Industrial Biotechnology website until January 18, 2015.

In the article "Cellulases Significantly Alter the Nano-Scale Reaction Space for Pretreated Lignocellulosic Biomass," Dong Yang, Jean-Yves Parlange, and Larry P. Walker Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, measured sugar yield and the accessible reaction space, or pore volume, of mixed hardwoods and switchgrass biomass treated with a mixture of cell wall degrading enzymes. Enzymatic pretreatment resulted in a substantial reduction in pore volume for both types of biomass. Drying of pretreated, enzymatically hydrolyzed biomass led to a decrease in accessible pore volume of as much as 80%, suggesting irreversible pore collapse.

In many respects, the work results in this paper, and in other recent publications, reflect the belief that physical/structural features of biomass are extremely important in defining the rate and extent of hydrolysis.

"One of the key steps in lignocellulosic hydrolysis is speeding up the rate and the extent of the hydrolysis reaction," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Glenn Nedwin, PhD, MoT, CEO and President, Taxon Biosciences. "Access to an understanding of the physical and structural features of biomass are critically important. This paper by Yang et al., offers new insights into this bioconversion process."

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About the Journal

Industrial Biotechnology, led by Co-Editors-in-Chief Larry Walker, PhD, Biological and Environmental Engineering Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and Glenn Nedwin, PhD, MoT, CEO and President, Taxon Biosciences, Tiburon, CA, is an authoritative journal focused on biobased industrial and environmental products and processes, published bimonthly online with Open Access options and print. The Journal reports on the science, technology, business, and policy developments of the emerging global bioeconomy, including biobased production of energy and fuels, chemicals, materials, and consumer goods. The articles published include critically reviewed original research in all related sciences (biology, biochemistry, chemical and process engineering, agriculture), in addition to expert commentary on current policy, funding, markets, business, legal issues, and science trends. The Journal offers the premier forum bridging basic research and R&D with later-stage commercialization for sustainable biobased industrial and environmental applications. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Industrial Biotechnology website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Environmental Engineering Science and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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