Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Napoleon Ballroom C-D, 3rd fl (Sheraton New Orleans)
A variety of renewable fuels and chemicals can be made from lignocellulosic biomass. Most of these processes are fermentations that require the biomass to be converted to fermentable sugars. One of the most expensive steps of lignocellulosic sugar production is the hydrolysis enzyme production. This research investigates the potential for glycosyl hydrolase production from lignocellulose using Trichoderma reesei RUT-C30. Sugar beet pulp, and pretreated rice straw are tested as carbon sources for enzyme induction by T. reesei. They are compared with the crystalline cellulose. Over 8 days of culture, enzyme is harvested using centrifugation and the endo-glucanase, xylanase and pectinase activities of enzymes produced from different substrates are determined. Existing literature shows that different production substrates will yield enzymes with different activities. However, this research will take it a step further by testing the enzymes on actual biomass from which the enzymes are produced. In addition to standard enzymatic activity assays, the sugar released from the biomass substrate (sugar beet pulp and pretreated straw) will be measured for each production substrate enzyme. It is expected that enzyme produced on one substrate will be most effective in releasing the sugar from that same substrate.