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Biotechnol Rep (Amst). 2019 Jun 27;23:e00358. doi: 10.1016/j.btre.2019.e00358. eCollection 2019 Sep.

Flax treatment with strategic enzyme combinations: Effect on chemical fiber composition and ease of fiber extraction.

Author information

1
KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M²S), Cluster for Bioengineering Technology (CBeT), Laboratory of Enzyme, Fermentation and Brewing Technology (EFBT), Technology Campus Ghent, Gebroeders De Smetstraat 1, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.
2
KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Department of Materials Engineering (MTM), Technology Cluster for Materials Technology (TC-MT), Campus Group T, Andreas Vesaliusstraat 13, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium.
3
KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Department of Materials Engineering (MTM), Technology Cluster for Materials Technology (TC-MT), Campus De Nayer, De Nayerlaan 5, B-2860, Sint-Katelijne Waver, Belgium.

Abstract

The effect of treatment of flax with strategic enzyme combinations on the ease of fiber extraction and the chemical fiber composition is reported in this study. To contribute to the increasing demand for bio-based and sustainable materials, it is of great importance to develop optimal enzyme formulations which can replace the yet poorly controlled traditional dew retting process. Regarding the chemical composition of the fiber, enzymatic treatments all resulted in similar improvements, with an enhanced cellulose content of 81 ± 1% after polygalacturonase + xylanase treatment (vs. 64 ± 2% for green fibers). Evaluation of extraction efficiency (EE) showed that several enzyme combinations significantly increased EE in comparison with green fibers. An EE of 23 ± 6% was found for fibers extracted after polygalacturonase + pectinmethylesterase treatment, in comparison with an EE of 11 ± 1% for green fibers. Combinations with three enzymes resulted in a higher reduction of the pectin content of the fibers. The combination of enzymes shows hence promising potential but further evaluation of mechanical performance of fiber reinforced composites is needed.

KEYWORDS:

Enzymatic treatment; Extraction efficiency; Natural fibers; Polygalacturonase; Xylanase

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