News International Sugar Journal

Unravelling of the molecular mechanism of hemicellulose acetylation in plants will facilitate cellulosic biofuels production [Registered]

A major obstacle in the production of lignocellulosic biofuels is that most wall polysaccharides are O-acetylated (i.e., chemically bonded to acetate groups), and the acetate released from these molecules during processing inhibits the activity of the microbes that ferment sugars into alcohol. Based on techno-economical models, a 20% reduction in biomass acetylation is predicted to translate into a 10% reduction in bioethanol price. Thus, a major goal in the field of plant biofuel research is to diminish the O-acetate content in the cell walls of plants, possibly by blocking the enzymes that acetylate the cell wall polymers. However, little is…

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