Influence of mixing regime on enzymatic saccharification of steam-exploded softwood chips
- Cite this article as:
- Mais, U., Esteghlalian, A.R. & Saddler, J.N. Appl Biochem Biotechnol (2002) 98: 463. doi:10.1385/ABAB:98-100:1-9:463
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In an attempt to elucidate the effect of reduced mixing on the enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic feedstocks, a pretreated softwood substrate was hydrolyzed under various mixing regimes using a commercial cellulase mixture. The substrate was generated by SO2-catalyzed steam explosion of Douglas fir wood chips followed by alkali-peroxide treatment to remove lignin. Three mixing regimes were tested; continuous mixing at low (25 rpm) and high (150 rpm) speeds, and mixing at low-speed interspersed with 5-min intervals of high-speed agitation at 150 rpm. At both substrate concentrations (7.5 and 10% [w/w]), the mixed-speed mixing was able to produce sufficiently high conversion rates and yields (93% after 96 h), close or slightly better than those obtained under vigorous mixing (150 rpm). The low-speed shaking produced appreciably lower conversion yields at both levels of substrate concentration. Therefore, the mixed-speed regime may be a viable process option, because it does not seem to have an adverse impact on the cellulose conversion yield and can be an effective means of reducing the mixing energy requirements of an enzymatic hydrolysis process.