Hemicellulose bioconversion

Review Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10295-003-0049-x

Cite this article as:
Saha, B.C. J IND MICROBIOL BIOTECHNOL (2003) 30: 279. doi:10.1007/s10295-003-0049-x


Various agricultural residues, such as corn fiber, corn stover, wheat straw, rice straw, and sugarcane bagasse, contain about 20–40% hemicellulose, the second most abundant polysaccharide in nature. The conversion of hemicellulose to fuels and chemicals is problematic. In this paper, various pretreatment options as well as enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars is reviewed. Our research dealing with the pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification of corn fiber and development of novel and improved enzymes such as endo-xylanase, β-xylosidase, and α-l-arabinofuranosidase for hemicellulose bioconversion is described. The barriers, progress, and prospects of developing an environmentally benign bioprocess for large-scale conversion of hemicellulose to fuel ethanol, xylitol, 2,3-butanediol, and other value-added fermentation products are highlighted.


Hemicellulose Arabinoxylan Bioconversion Hemicellulase Xylanolytic enzymes 

Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fermentation Biotechnology Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research ServiceU. S. Department of AgriculturePeoriaUSA

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