Raleigh: North Carolina State University * College of Natural Resources
Crude recombinant Paenibacillus endoglucanase was employed to investigate its ability to gain access into and to degrade spruce pulps having different lignin and pentosan contents. Since yeast extract is commonly present in the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation processes as a nitrogen source, its effect on the accessibility and degradability of crude endoglucanase was examined. Pulps with more lignin contents adsorbed more overall proteins. More protein impurities other than the recombinant Paenibacillus endoglucanase were found to be preferentially adsorbed on the surfaces of pulp with higher lignin contents. The addition of yeast extracts further enhanced the above trends, which might reduce the non-productive binding by pulp lignin. Pulps with more lignin contents were more difficult to be degraded by the crude endoglucanase; the reductions of degree of polymerization (DP) for pulps were more sensitive to the dosage of endoglucanase applied. The presence of yeast extracts increased the DP degradation rate constants, but decreased the release of reducing sugars during hydrolysis for pulp with higher lignin contents.