Polysaccharide-Acting Enzymes and Their Applications

  • Anu Koivula
  • Sanni Voutilainen
  • Jaakko Pere
  • Kristiina Kruus
  • Anna Suurnäkki
  • Lambertus A. M. van den Broek
  • Robert Bakker
  • Steef Lips


Biobased economy is expected to grow substantially in Europe within the coming 20 years. An important part of the bioeconomy is biorefineries in which biomass is processed in a sustainable manner to various exploitable products and energy. Bioeconomy can be seen as an expansion of the biorefinery concept as it also includes the exploitation of biotechnology in processing of non-biological raw materials or production of non-bio products exploiting certain biological principles.

Enzymes offer a selective and efficient means to convert biomass and its components including polysaccharides into chemicals, materials, energy, food and feed in a sustainable manner. Due to their specificity enzymes are powerful tools especially in the targeted modification of biomass components. Furthermore, enzymes can be used to overcome some of the challenges related to the utilisation of biomass. Compared to traditional manufacturing systems, biomass can be processed by enzymes in mild conditions with significantly less energy, water and without the need of aggressive chemicals. A wide variety of potential enzymes suitable for processing and upgrading of lignocellulosic polysaccharides and polysaccharide -based materials is currently commercially available and novel enzymes are actively searched for. The role of these enzymes in future lignocellulosic polysaccharide processing and up-grading is dependent on the value addition and economical feasibility reached as well as the wide industrial acceptance of the bioprocessing technologies.


Galacturonic Acid Feruloyl Esterase Acetyl Esterase Galactose Oxidase Pectin Esterase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/WIen 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anu Koivula
    • 3
  • Sanni Voutilainen
    • 3
  • Jaakko Pere
    • 3
  • Kristiina Kruus
    • 3
  • Anna Suurnäkki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lambertus A. M. van den Broek
    • 4
  • Robert Bakker
    • 5
  • Steef Lips
    • 5
  1. 1.VTT Technical research centre of FinlandVTTFinland
  2. 2.VTT BiotechnologyVTT Technical research Centre of FinlandEspooFinland
  3. 3.VTT Technical research centre of FinlandVTTFinland
  4. 4.Wageningen UR Food & Biobased ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Wageningen UR Food and Biobased ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands

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