, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 807–818 | Cite as

Mechanical deconstruction of lignocellulose cell walls and their enzymatic saccharification

  • Ingrid C. Hoeger
  • Sandeep S. Nair
  • Arthur J. Ragauskas
  • Yulin Deng
  • Orlando J. Rojas
  • J. Y. Zhu
Original Paper


Laboratory mechanical softwood pulps (MSP) and commercial bleached softwood kraft pulps (BSKP) were mechanically fibrillated by stone grinding with a SuperMassColloider®. The extent of fibrillation was evaluated by SEM imaging, water retention value (WRV) and cellulase adsorption. Both lignin content and mechanical treatment significantly affected deconstruction and enzymatic saccharification of fibrillated MSP and BSKP. Fibrillation of MSP and BSKP cell walls occurs rapidly and then levels off; further fibrillation has only limited effect on cell wall breakdown as measured by water retention value and cellulase adsorption. Complete (100 %) saccharification can be achieved at cellulase loading of 5 FPU/g glucan for BSKP after only 15 min fibrillation with energy input of 0.69 MJ/kg. However, the presence of lignin in MSP affects the extent of fibrillation producing fibrils mainly above 1 μm. Lignin binds nonproductively to cellulases and blocks cellulose thereby reducing its accessibility. As a result, the cellulose saccharification efficiency of MSP fibrils (6 h of fibrillation, energy input of 13.33 MJ/kg) was only 55 % at same cellulase loading of 5 FPU/g glucan.


Cell wall deconstruction Enzymatic hydrolysis Saccharification Lignocelluloses Size reduction Grinding Nanocellulose Nanofibers Nanofibrils Lignocellulose nanofibrils Biofuel 



This work was sponsored by the USDA Forest Service R&D special funding on Cellulose Nano-Materials (2012).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013 (outside the USA)  2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingrid C. Hoeger
    • 1
  • Sandeep S. Nair
    • 2
  • Arthur J. Ragauskas
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yulin Deng
    • 2
    • 4
  • Orlando J. Rojas
    • 1
  • J. Y. Zhu
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Forest BiomaterialsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Paper Science and TechnologyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.USDA Forest ServiceForest Products LaboratoryMadisonUSA

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