A comparison of enzyme-aided bleaching of softwood paper pulp using combinations of xylanase, mannanase and α-galactosidase
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Enzymatic pretreatment of softwood kraft pulp was investigated using xylanase A (XylA) from Neocallimastix patriciarum in combination with mannanase and α-galactosidase. Mannanase A (ManA) from Pseudomonas fluorescens subsp. cellulosa and ManA from Clostridium thermocellum, both family 26 glycosyl hydrolases, are structurally diverse and exhibit different pH and temperature optima. Although neither mannanase was effective in pretreating softwood pulp alone, both enzymes were able to enhance the production of reducing sugar and the reduction of single-stage bleached κ number when used with the xylanase. Sequential incubations with XylA and P. fluorescens ManA produced the largest final κ number reduction in comparison to control pretreated pulp. The release of galactose from softwood pulp by α-galactosidase A (AgaA) from P. fluorescens was enhanced by the presence of ManA from the same microorganism, and a single pretreatment with these enzymes, in combination with XylA, gave the most effective κ number reduction using a single incubation. Results indicated that mixtures of hemicellulase activities can be chosen to enhance pulp bleachability.
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