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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Feb;130:81-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.10.167. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

A novel combined pretreatment of ball milling and microwave irradiation for enhancing enzymatic hydrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose.

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National Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.


Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) was performed as a mode substrate to investigate its potential ability of bioconversion in a novel combined pretreatment of ball milling (BM) and/or microwave irradiation (MWI). The variation of structure characteristics of MCC before/after pretreatment were investigated, including crystallinity index (CrI), size of crystal (S(C)), specific surface area (SSA) and degree of polymerization (DP). Their correlation with the rate of enzymatic hydrolysis was differentiated by an optimized equation which indicated the rate of hydrolysis was much more sensitive to CrI than SSA and DP. To achieve the same or higher glucose yield of BM for 3h and 6h, BM for 1h with MWI for 20min could save 54.8% and 77.40% energy consumption, respectively. Moreover, chemicals were not required in this process. It is concluded that the combination of BM and short time MWI is an environment-friendly, economical and effective approach to treat biomass.

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