Enzyme immobilization to enhance the hydrolysis of soluble, biomass derived xylo-oligomers

The proposed research project will conduct feasibility studies on the purification and conditioning of industrial, hemicellulose derived C5 sugars from a number of potentially commercial liquor fractions, derived from lignocellulosic biomass. In the first two Mitacs projects, enzyme hydrolysis showed considerable benefits over traditional acid hydrolysis for S2G’s bio-glycol production. However, relatively high enzyme loadings were still required to achieve fast and efficient hydrolysis! Since the hydrolysis was conducted in a liquid phase and agitation showed no beneficial effects in enhancing enzymatic hydrolysis, the potential of using an immobilized enzyme strategy to further improve enzyme stability while enhancing recycle/reuse of the enzymes could show considerable potential, further reducing enzyme costs. We would also like to see if an enzyme immobilization strategy might be beneficial, building on the optimized enzyme cocktails derived from project I and II. The end goal of this study is to further reduce enzyme cost for S2G’s sugar-to-glycol process.

Intern: 
Jinguang Hu
Faculty Supervisor: 
Jack (John) Saddler
Province: 
British Columbia
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