Effect and Modeling of Glucose Inhibition and In Situ Glucose Removal During Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Pretreated Wheat Straw

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The enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass is known to be product-inhibited by glucose. In this study, the effects on cellulolytic glucose yields of glucose inhibition and in situ glucose removal were examined and modeled during extended treatment of heat-pretreated wheat straw with the cellulolytic enzyme system, Celluclast (R) 1.5 L, from Trichoderma reesei, supplemented with a beta-glucosidase, Novozym (R) 188, from Aspergillus niger. Addition of glucose (0-40 g/L) significantly decreased the enzyme-catalyzed glucose formation rates and final glucose yields, in a dose-dependent manner, during 96 h of reaction. When glucose was removed by dialysis during the enzymatic hydrolysis, the cellulose conversion rates and glucose yields increased. In fact, with dialytic in situ glucose removal, the rate of enzyme-catalyzed glucose release during 48-72 h of reaction recovered from 20-40% to become approximate to 70% of the rate recorded during 6-24 h of reaction. Although Michaelis-Menten kinetics do not suffice to model the kinetics of the complex multi-enzymatic degradation of cellulose, the data for the glucose inhibition were surprisingly well described by simple Michaelis-Menten inhibition models without great significance of the inhibition mechanism. Moreover, the experimental in situ removal of glucose could be simulated by a Michaelis-Menten inhibition model. The data provide an important base for design of novel reactors and operating regimes which include continuous product removal during enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulose.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)280-297
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Product removal
  • Cellulases
  • Reactor design
  • Lignocellulose
  • Product inhibition


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