NC State
Azhar, S., Wang, Y., Lawoko, M., Henriksson, G., and Lindström, M. E. (2011). "Extraction of polymers from enzyme-treated softwood," BioRes. 6(4), 4606-4614.


In a biorefinery context it is an advantage to fractionate and extract different wood components in a relatively pure form. However, one major obstacle for efficient extraction of wood polymers (lignin, polysaccharides etc.) is the covalent lignin-polysaccharide networks present in lignified cell walls. Enzymatic catalysis might be a useful tool for a controlled degradation of these networks, thereby enhancing the extraction of high molecular weight polymers. In this work, a methanol-alkali mixture was used to extract two different wood samples treated with endoxylanase and gammanase, respectively. Wood chips were pretreated with alkali prior to enzymatic treatment to enhance the cell-wall accessibility to enzymes. Extractions were also carried out on non-enzyme-treated samples to evaluate the enzymatic effects. Results showed that the enzymatic treatment increased the extraction yield, with gammanase as the more efficient of the two enzymes. Furthermore, polymers extracted from xylanase-treated wood had a higher degree of polymerization than the reference.
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