Evolution and impact of cellulose architecture during enzymatic hydrolysis by fungal cellulases


The enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose is still considered as a main limiting step of the biological production of biofuels from ligno-cellulosic biomass. Glycoside hydrolases from Trichoderma reesei are currently used to produce fermentable glucose units from degradation of cellulose packed in a complex assembly of cellulose microfibrils. The present work describes the structural evolution of two prototypical samples of cellulose (a micro-crystalline cellulose and a bleached sulfite pulp) over 5 length scale orders of magnitude. The results were obtained through wide angle, small angle and ultra-small angles synchrotron X-ray scattering, completed by Small Angle Neutron Scattering and particle size analyzers. These structural evolutions were followed as a function of enzymatic conversion. The results show that whereas there is no change at the nanometer scale, drastic changes occur at micron. The observed decrease of the size of the cellulose particles is accompanied by a smoothing of the crystalline surfaces that can be explained by a two-step mechanism of the enzymatic hydrolysis.

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Chauve, M. , Barre, L. , Tapin-Lingua, S. , Silva Perez, D. , Decottignies, D. , Perez, S. and Ferreira, N. (2013) Evolution and impact of cellulose architecture during enzymatic hydrolysis by fungal cellulases. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 4, 1095-1109. doi: 10.4236/abb.2013.412146.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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