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Process development of sugar beet enzymatic hydrolysis with enzyme recycling for soluble sugar production


Enzymatic hydrolysis of sugar beets for achieving liquefaction and sugar release is a critical step for beet-ethanol production. An enzyme recycling process was developed in this study to reduce the economic uncertainty raised by the high costs of enzymes by reducing the fresh enzyme usage. A mixture of cellulases and pectinases was used in the beet hydrolysis. The hydrolysate was centrifuged and then processed through a 50 kDa molecular weight cut-off polyethersulfone membrane to recover enzymes from the liquid. Liquid enzyme recycling with 50% fresh enzyme addition achieved a similar liquefaction extent and sugar yield compared to the positive control with 100% fresh enzyme. Solid enzyme recycling showed a lower liquefaction efficiency, requiring at least 75% of fresh enzyme addition for a comparable liquefaction extent. Five sequential batches of hydrolysis with liquid enzyme recycling were successfully conducted to hydrolyze sugar beets with similar liquefaction extents and sugar yields.

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