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Title: Multifunctional Cellulolytic Enzymes Outperform Processive Fungal Cellulases for Coproduction of Nanocellulose and Biofuels

Producing fuels, chemicals, and materials from renewable resources to meet societal demands remains an important step in the transition to a sustainable, clean energy economy. The use of cellulolytic enzymes for the production of nanocellulose enables the coproduction of sugars for biofuels production in a format that is largely compatible with the process design employed by modern lignocellulosic (second generation) biorefineries. However, yields of enzymatically produced nanocellulose are typically much lower than those achieved by mineral acid production methods. In this study, we compare the capacity for coproduction of nanocellulose and fermentable sugars using two vastly different cellulase systems: the classical 'free enzyme' system of the saprophytic fungus, Trichoderma reesei (T. reesei) and the complexed, multifunctional enzymes produced by the hot springs resident, Caldicellulosiruptor bescii (C. bescii). Here, we demonstrate by comparative digestions that the C. bescii system outperforms the fungal enzyme system in terms of total cellulose conversion, sugar production, and nanocellulose production. In addition, we show by multimodal imaging and dynamic light scattering that the nanocellulose produced by the C. bescii cellulase system is substantially more uniform than that produced by the T. reesei system. These disparities in the yields and characteristics of the nanocellulose produced by thesemore » disparate systems can be attributed to the dramatic differences in the mechanisms of action of the dominant enzymes in each system.« less
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Biosciences Center
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1936-0851
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Nano
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1936-0851
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; nanocellulose; biofuel; enzymatic hydrolysis; cellulase; multi-functional enzyme
OSTI Identifier: