On a near future, bio-based economy will assume a key role in our lives. Lignocellulosic materials (e.g., agroforestry residues, industrial/solid wastes) represent a cheaper and environmentally friendly option to fossil fuels. Indeed, following suitable processing, they can be metabolized by different microorganisms to produce a wide range of compounds currently obtained by chemical synthesis. However, due to the recalcitrant nature of these materials, they cannot be directly used by microorganisms, the conversion of polysaccharides into simpler sugars being thus required. This conversion, which is usually undertaken enzymatically, represents a significant part on the final cost of the process. This fact has driven intense efforts on the reduction of the enzyme cost following different strategies. Here, we describe the fundamentals of the enzyme recycling technology, more specifically, cellulase recycling. We focus on the main strategies available for the recovery of both the liquid- and solid-bound enzyme fractions and discuss the relevant operational parameters (e.g., composition, temperature, additives, and pH). Although the efforts from the industry and enzyme suppliers are primarily oriented toward the development of enzyme cocktails able to quickly and effectively process biomass, it seems clear by now that enzyme recycling is technically possible.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 29, 2015
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