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      What Is the Bioeconomy? A Review of the Literature

      , ,
      Sustainability
      MDPI AG

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          Technology development for the production of biobased products from biorefinery carbohydrates—the US Department of Energy’s “Top 10” revisited

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            An oxidative enzyme boosting the enzymatic conversion of recalcitrant polysaccharides.

            Efficient enzymatic conversion of crystalline polysaccharides is crucial for an economically and environmentally sustainable bioeconomy but remains unfavorably inefficient. We describe an enzyme that acts on the surface of crystalline chitin, where it introduces chain breaks and generates oxidized chain ends, thus promoting further degradation by chitinases. This enzymatic activity was discovered and further characterized by using mass spectrometry and chromatographic separation methods to detect oxidized products generated in the absence or presence of H(2)(18)O or (18)O(2). There are strong indications that similar enzymes exist that work on cellulose. Our findings not only demonstrate the existence of a hitherto unknown enzyme activity but also provide new avenues toward more efficient enzymatic conversion of biomass.
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              Novel enzymes for the degradation of cellulose

              The bulk terrestrial biomass resource in a future bio-economy will be lignocellulosic biomass, which is recalcitrant and challenging to process. Enzymatic conversion of polysaccharides in the lignocellulosic biomass will be a key technology in future biorefineries and this technology is currently the subject of intensive research. We describe recent developments in enzyme technology for conversion of cellulose, the most abundant, homogeneous and recalcitrant polysaccharide in lignocellulosic biomass. In particular, we focus on a recently discovered new type of enzymes currently classified as CBM33 and GH61 that catalyze oxidative cleavage of polysaccharides. These enzymes promote the efficiency of classical hydrolytic enzymes (cellulases) by acting on the surfaces of the insoluble substrate, where they introduce chain breaks in the polysaccharide chains, without the need of first “extracting” these chains from their crystalline matrix.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                SUSTDE
                Sustainability
                Sustainability
                MDPI AG
                2071-1050
                July 2016
                July 19 2016
                : 8
                : 7
                : 691
                Article
                10.3390/su8070691
                a62e8e64-146f-45c5-8756-7ceb101ef9e4
                © 2016

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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