Reactor design for minimizing product inhibition during enzymatic lignocellulose hydrolysis: I. Significance and mechanism of cellobiose and glucose inhibition on cellulolytic enzymes

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Achievement of efficient enzymatic degradation of cellulose to glucose is one of the main prerequisites and one of the main challenges in the biological conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to liquid fuels and other valuable products. The specific inhibitory interferences by cellobiose and glucose on enzyme-catalyzed cellulose hydrolysis reactions impose significant limitations on the efficiency of lignocellulose conversion especially at high-biomass dry matter conditions. To provide the base for selecting the optimal reactor conditions, this paper reviews the reaction kinetics, mechanisms, and significance of this product inhibition, notably the cellobiose and glucose inhibition, on enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis. Particular emphasis is put on the distinct complexity of cellulose as a substrate, the multi-enzymatic nature of the cellulolytic degradation, and the particular features of cellulase inhibition mechanisms and kinetics. The data show that new strategies that place the bioreactor design at the center stage are required to alleviate the product inhibition and in turn to enhance the efficiency of enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis. Accomplishment of the enzymatic hydrolysis at medium substrate concentration in separate hydrolysis reactors that allow continuous glucose removal is proposed to be the way forward for obtaining feasible enzymatic degradation in lignocellulose processing. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)308-324
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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