Los Alamos National Laboratory project says enzyme binding to cellulose polymers could slow conversion process

June 24, 2013 |

In New Mexico, the Los Alamos National Laboratory has published a paper on the binding of enzymes to cellulose polymers, and how oftentimes, increased binding does not lead to faster breakdown into simple sugars. The team, led by Shishir Chundawat of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, has been using biomass pretreatments to convert cellulose to cellulose III, reducing native enzyme building while increasing sugar yields up to five times.

“The ability of this unconventional pretreatment strategy, currently under development at GLBRC, to selectively alter the cellulose crystal structure may lead to an order of magnitude reduction in enzyme usage. This will be critical for cost-effective cellulosic biofuel production,” said Bruce Dale of Michigan State University, who leads GLBRC’s biomass deconstruction research area.

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Category: Research

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