, Volume 5, Issue 8, pp 531-536

The nature of inhibitory materials present in pretreated lignocellulosic substrates which inhibit the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose

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Wheat straw and aspen wood chips were pretreated by steam explosion and the various fractions were assayed for the presence of materials which inhibited the enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulose component of the lignocellulosic substrates to glucose. The inhibitory material could be removed from all of the fractions by simple water extraction. The inhibitory substances were shown to primarily inhibit the B-glucosidase component of the cellulase complex of Trichoderma harzianum E58. The furan derivatives, furfural and hydroxymethyl furfural were not inhibitory at concentrations normally found in steam exploded lignocellulosic substrates.