Redox processes acidify and decarboxylate steam-pretreated lignocellulosic biomass and are modulated by LPMO and catalase

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Ausra Peciulyte
  • Louise Samuelsson
  • Lisbeth Olsson
  • K. C. McFarland
  • Jesper Frickmann
  • Lars Østergard
  • Rune Halvorsen
  • Brian R. Scott
  • Johansen, Katja Salomon

Background: The bioconversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to ethanol is being commercialised, but further process development is required to improve their economic feasibility. Efficient saccharification of lignocellulose to fermentable sugars requires oxidative cleavage of glycosidic linkages by lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs). However, a proper understanding of the catalytic mechanism of this enzyme class and the interaction with other redox processes associated with the saccharification of lignocellulose is still lacking. The in-use stability of LPMO-containing enzyme cocktails is increased by the addition of catalase implying that hydrogen peroxide (H 2O 2) is generated in the slurry during incubation. Therefore, we sought to characterize the effects of enzymatic and abiotic sources of H 2O 2 on lignocellulose hydrolysis to identify parameters that could improve this process. Moreover, we studied the abiotic redox reactions of steam-pretreated wheat straw as a function of temperature and dry-matter (DM) content.

Results: Abiotic reactions in pretreated wheat straw consume oxygen, release carbon dioxide (CO 2) to the slurry, and decrease the pH. The magnitude of these reactions increased with temperature and with DM content. The presence of LPMO during saccharification reduced the amount of CO 2 liberated, while the effect on pH was insignificant. Catalase led to increased decarboxylation through an unknown mechanism. Both in situ-generated and added H 2O 2 caused a decrease in pH.

Conclusions: Abiotic redox processes similar to those that occur in natural water-logged environments also affect the saccharification of pretreated lignocellulose. Heating of the lignocellulosic material and adjustment of pH trigger rapid oxygen consumption and acidification of the slurry. In industrial settings, it will be of utmost importance to control these processes. LPMOs interact with the surrounding redox compounds and redirect abiotic electron flow from decarboxylating reactions to fuel the oxidative cleavage of glycosidic bonds in cellulose.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Hydrogen peroxide, pH/proton activity, Biorefinery, Decarboxylation, Enzymes, Wheat straw

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 201264675