, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 43-59

Effect of structural and physico-chemical features of cellulosic substrates on the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis

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Effects of major physicochemical and structural parameters of cellulose on the rate and degree of its enzymatic hydrolysis were tested with cellulosic materials from various sources. Some different pretreatments were: mechanical (milling), physical (X-ray irradiation), and chemical (cadoxen, H3PO4, H2SO4, NaOH, Fe2+/H2O2). The average size of cellulose particles and its degree of polymerization had little effect on the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis. For samples of pure cellulose (cotton linter, microcrystalline cellulose, α-cellulose), increase in the specific surface area accessible to protein molecules and decrease in the crystallinity index accelerated the enzymatic hydrolysis (the correlation coefficients were 0.89 and 0.92, respectively). In the case of lignocellulose (bagasse), a quantitative linear relationship only between specific surface area and reactivity was observed.