Critical redox processes during enzymatic saccharification of plant biomass: Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases at play
Conference poster, 2017
s a result of the increasing burden on the environment and the scarcity of natural resources, we need to find new ways of supplying a growing population with products for daily life. In a bio-based economy we want to produce bioplastics, biochemicals and biofuels from plant biomass (lignocellulose). One of the reasons why lignocellulose is interesting is that it could serve as an energy source for microorganisms, which could be used to produce many different products of interest. However, the source of energy in lignocellulose is not readily available. We need to use certain enzymes, known collectively as cellulases, which are produced by other microorganisms, such as bacteria and filamentous fungi, to degrade lignocellulose into glucose, which can serve as an energy source.
The recent discovery of enzymes termed lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases has led to a significant improvement in the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis and thus in the process of the production of biofuels. These enzymes are capable of breaking glycosidic bonds using oxidative mechanism which has not been known until recently.
In this project I am focused on addressing how the application of these redox- active enzymes can reach its full potential. More specifically, I am investigating redox processes of lignocellulosic biomass during enzymatic saccharification. I combined electrochemistry (cyclic voltammetry), gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography techniques to investigate the saccharification of lignocellulose process.