News International Sugar Journal

Pretreatment with ammonia increases enzymatic saccharification of cellulosic feedstocks five-fold [Registered]

One of the key difficulties in creating biofuels from plant matter is that the cellulose tends to orient itself into a sheet-like network of highly ordered, densely packed molecules. These sheets stack upon themselves and bond together very tightly due to interactions between hydrogen atoms. This stacking and bonding arrangement prevents enzymes from directly attacking most of the individual cellulose molecules and isolating the sugar chains within them. Research led by S. Gananakaran at the Bioscience Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (2011, 133 (29): 11163-11174). Currently, ethanol can only…

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