Enhanced enzymatic cellulose degradation by cellobiohydrolases via product removal

Hassan Ahmadi Gavlighi, Anne S. Meyer, Jørn Dalgaard Mikkelsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Product inhibition by cellobiose decreases the rate of enzymatic cellulose degradation. The optimal reaction conditions for two Emericella (Aspergillus) nidulans-derived cellobiohydrolases I and II produced in Pichia pastoris were identified as CBHI: 52 °C, pH 4.5–6.5, and CBHII: 46 °C, pH 4.8. The optimum in a mixture of the two was 50 °C, pH 4.9. An almost fourfold increase in enzymatic hydrolysis yield was achieved with intermittent product removal of cellobiose with membrane filtration (2 kDa cut-off): The conversion of cotton cellulose after 72 h was ~19 % by weight, whereas the conversion in the parallel batch reaction was only ~5 % by weight. Also, a synergistic effect, achieving ~27 % substrate conversion, was obtained by addition of endo-1,4-β-d-glucanase. The synergistic effect was only obtained with product removal. By using pure, monoactive enzymes, the work illustrates the profound gains achievable by intermittent product removal during cellulose hydrolysis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)205-212
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Cellobiohydrolase I (CBHI)
  • Cellobiohydrolase II (CBHII)
  • Product removal
  • Membrane reactor
  • Endoglucanase


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