Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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Lignocelluloses are often a major or sometimes the sole components of different waste streams from various industries, forestry,
agriculture and municipalities. Hydrolysis of these materials is the first step for either digestion to biogas (methane). However,
enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocelluloses with no pretreatment is usually not so effective because of high stability of the materials to
enzymatic or bacterial attacks. Effective parameters in pretreatment of lignocelluloses, such as crystallinity, accessible surface area,
and protection by lignin and hemicellulose are the most important ones. Although several pretreatment methods are available, their
effects on improvement in biogas production are not optimised. They include milling, irradiation, microwave, steam explosion,
ammonia fiber explosion (AFEX), supercritical CO(2) and its explosion, alkaline hydrolysis, liquid hot-water pretreatment, , wet
oxidation, ozonolysis, dilute-and concentrated-acid hydrolysis, and biological pretreatments.
Sugar cane Bagasse is available in huge quantities, especially in tropical countries, which are at present not properly utilized.
Pretreatment of Bagasse exposes the cellulose making it accessible to cellulase enzyme. Both chemical and biological
pretreatments are possible.
Exposing bagasse to 1 % alkali (sodium hydroxide) and mixing with urea enhances biogas production.
Similarly growing pleurotus florida fungi in the presence of urea, lactose and cupric chloride improves biogas production from
bagasse. Urea is used to optimize the carbon: nitrogen ratio of the substrate. Lactose and cupric chloride enhances secretion of
laccase enzyme, which delignifies bagasse, without sodium hydroxide.
Gopinathan C has several years of research experience in the area of fermentation technology, especially in the area of Bioenergy. He has got
15 years of teaching and research experience and filed three patents. He has also presented his inventions in several national and international
conferences. Presently he is working as the head of department of Biotechnology, University of Calicut.
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