Original Articles

Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 1-17

First online:

Evaluation of wet oxidation pretreatment for enzymatic hydrolysis of softwood

  • Hetti PalonenAffiliated withVTT Biotechnology
  • , Anne Belinda ThomsenAffiliated withPlant Research Department, Risø National Laboratory Email author 
  • , Maija TenkanenAffiliated withVTT Biotechnology
  • , Anette S. SchmidtAffiliated withNovo Nordisk, Protein Chemistry
  • , Liisa ViikariAffiliated withVTT Biotechnology

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The wet oxidation pretreatment (water, oxygen, elevated temperature, and pressure) of softwood (Picea abies) was investigated for enhancing enzymatic hydrolysis. The pretreatment was preliminarily optimized. Six different combinations of reaction time, temperature, and pH were applied, and the compositions of solid and liquid fractions were analyzed. The solid fraction after wet oxidation contained 58–64% cellulose, 2–16% hemicellulose, and 24–30% lignin. The pretreatment series gave information about the roles of lignin and hemicellulose in the enzymatic hydrolysis. The temperature of the pretreatment, the residual hemicellulose content of the substrate, and the type of the commercial cellulase preparation used were the most important factors affecting the enzymatic hydrolysis. The highest sugar yield in a 72-h hydrolysis, 79% of theoretical, was obtained using a pretreatment of 200°C for 10 min at neutral pH.

Index Entries

Wet oxidation enzymatic hydrolysis lignocellulose cellulases