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Los Alamos, NM, United States

Cheng G.,Joint BioEnergy Institute | Cheng G.,Sandia National Laboratories | Liu Z.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Murton J.K.,Sandia National Laboratories | And 17 more authors.
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2011

Improving the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose is one of the key technological hurdles to reduce the cost of producing ethanol and other transportation fuels from lignocellulosic material. A better understanding of how soluble enzymes interact with insoluble cellulose will aid in the design of more efficient enzyme systems. We report a study involving neutron reflectometry (NR) and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) of the interaction of a fungal enzyme extract (T. viride) and an endoglucanse from A. niger with amorphous cellulose films. The use of amorphous cellulose is motivated by that the fact that several biomass pretreatments currently under investigation disrupt the native crystalline structure of cellulose and increase the amorphous content. NR reveals the profile of water through the film at nanometer resolution and is highly sensitive to interfacial roughness, whereas QCM-D provides changes in mass and film stiffness. NR can be performed using either H2O- or D2O-based aqueous reservoirs. NR measurement of swelling of a cellulose film in D2O and in H 2O revealed that D/H exchange on the cellulose chains must be taken into account when a D2O-based reservoir is used. The results also show that cellulose films swell slightly more in D2O than in H 2O. Regarding enzymatic digestion, at 20 °C in H2O buffer the T. viride cocktail rapidly digested the entire film, initially roughening the surface, followed by penetration and activity throughout the bulk of the film. In contrast, over the same time period, the endoglucanase was active mainly at the surface of the film and did not increase the surface roughness. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Cheng G.,Joint BioEnergy Institute | Cheng G.,Sandia National Laboratories | Datta S.,Joint BioEnergy Institute | Datta S.,Indian Institute of Science | And 21 more authors.
Langmuir | Year: 2012

A study of the interaction of four endoglucanases with amorphous cellulose films by neutron reflectometry (NR) and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) is reported. The endoglucanases include a mesophilic fungal endoglucanase (Cel45A from H. insolens), a processive endoglucanase from a marine bacterium (Cel5H from S. degradans), and two from thermophilic bacteria (Cel9A from A. acidocaldarius and Cel5A from T. maritima). The use of amorphous cellulose is motivated by the promise of ionic liquid pretreatment as a second generation technology that disrupts the native crystalline structure of cellulose. The endoglucanases displayed highly diverse behavior. Cel45A and Cel5H, which possess carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs), penetrated and digested within the bulk of the films to a far greater extent than Cel9A and Cel5A, which lack CBMs. While both Cel45A and Cel5H were active within the bulk of the films, striking differences were observed. With Cel45A, substantial film expansion and interfacial broadening were observed, whereas for Cel5H the film thickness decreased with little interfacial broadening. These results are consistent with Cel45A digesting within the interior of cellulose chains as a classic endoglucanase, and Cel5H digesting predominantly at chain ends consistent with its designation as a processive endoglucanase. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

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