Cost-efficient sugar-based cellulase production

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


Enzymes remain a significant operational cost in biochemical biorefining processes. Inexpensive streams of sugar are available at many potential biorefining sites, and these could be an optimal raw material for the on-site production of cellulase enzymes. However, simple sugars do not support cellulase production using conventional cellulase-producing strains, necessitating either process or strain improvements. Here we describe improved glucose-based enzyme production processes enabling industrially relevant cellulase production kinetics. Extracellular protein titers of up to 53 g/L could be reached in under 93 hours, representing an up to 260% improvement in productivity over previously reported results. Glucose-produced enzyme is also shown to perform well on pre-treated corn stover. Using the NREL biorefinery model, enzyme production costs are estimated to be $2,8/kg protein or 6/L produced ethanol. Additionally, we briefly discuss how organic nitrogen could be cycled in enzyme production, and how the described processes could fit into existing and emerging biorefining operations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNWBC 2018
Subtitle of host publication Proceedings of the 8th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference
EditorsEemeli Hytonen, Jessica Vepsalainen
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-951388671-4
ISBN (Print)978-951-38-8672-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event8th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference, NWBC 2018 - Scandic Marina Congress Center, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 23 Oct 201825 Oct 2018 (Conference website)

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology


Conference8th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference, NWBC 2018
Internet address

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