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Comment Processing & Handling

Ultrasound enzyme hydrolysis

By Paul Grad |

Aiming to understand the nature of the synergistic effect of ultrasound and enzymes in the production of fermentable sugars from lignocellulosic biomass, researchers from the Institute of Chemical Technology (Mumbai, India; www.ictmumbai.edu.in) have studied the ultrasound-assisted enzymatic hydrolysis of waste newspaper. Waste newspaper has a high cellulosic content, making it a potential feedstock for bioethanol production. The researchers found that the sugar yield from enzymatic hydrolysis was increased by a factor of 2.4 with sonication (60 W power), producing 27.6 g/L of sugar (substrate load of 3 wt.%) after 6.5 h. In contrast, conventional enzymatic hydrolysis (without ultrasound) produced 11.6 g/L after 72 h. According to the researchers, the ultrasound increases the contact between enzyme and substrate, resulting in an increased reaction rate and a faster product release rate. The cavitation energy improves mass transfer and diffusion of the substrate toward the enzyme and the product release into the solution.
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