Improved lignocellulose hydrolysis through development of thermostable multicatalytic enzymes

The goal of this project is to significantly improve hydrolysis of plant biomass (lignocellulose). Enzymatic hydrolysis is regarded as more sustainable than thermochemical alternatives, but is still expensive and needs improvement. The improvement will here be made by developing and producing heat tolerant enzymes with multiple catalytic domains. Typically, enzymes have one catalytic domain, but in certain types of bacteria ‘multicatalytic’ enzymes are common, and have been shown to outcompete commercial variants. These bacteria live in extreme environments such as hot springs and thus their enzymes are stable and active at these temperatures (>70°). As commercial enzyme cocktails operate around 50°C, this creates a large room for improvement in hydrolysis rate and also reduced risk of microbial contamination. The hydrolysis improvement as such stems from both enabling higher process temperatures and strong synergistic effects when enzyme activities are coupled into the same enzyme.


Johan Larsbrink (contact)

Forskarassistent vid Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology



Funding Chalmers participation during 2017–2020 with 3,000,000.00 SEK

Swedish Energy Agency

Funding Chalmers participation during 2017–2019 with 1,510,000.00 SEK

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