In the saccharification of lignocellulosic materials, enzymatic hydrolysis is regarded as a green approach operating under mild reaction conditions with subsequent higher glucose yields. However, the hydrolysis rate can be declined by the presence of lignin, which acts as a physical barrier shielding cellulose from enzymatic attack. Lignin can also cause losses of enzymes (cellulases and β-glucosidases) through their binding to lignin, and deactivation of enzyme activities can occur from products arising from lignin degradation. In order to access the cellulose and reduce lignin before hydrolysis, some pretreatment methods can be developed by using white-rot fungi.
Employing 19 of fungi isolated from the rainforest, bio-pretreatment of willow sawdust was put into practice in Biomass Group of CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG). Positive effects of fungal pretreatment on the subsequent hydrolysis were demonstrated and the maximum accelerated yield was 327%. Based on the achievements, a study which summarized previous research progresses and challenges on the bio-pretreatment, as well as their relevant solution proposals, was conducted.
The work entitled “Impact and prospective of fungal pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass for enzymatic hydrolysis” has been published online in Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining, DOI: 10.1002/bbb.346