Author(s): J Gomes, H Purkarthofer, M Hayn, J Kapplmller, M Sinne, W Steiner
Thermomyces lanuginosus, isolated from self-heated jute stacks in Bangladesh, was able to produce a very high level of cellulase-free xylanase in shake cultures using inexpensive lignocellulosic biomass. Of the nine lignocellulosic substrates tested, corn cobs were found to be the best inducer of xylanase activity. The laboratory results of xylanase production have been successfully scaled up to VABIO (Voest-Alpine Biomass Technology Center) scale using a 15-m3 fermentor for industrial production and application of xylanase. In addition, some properties of the enzyme in crude culture filtrate produced on corn cobs are presented. The enzyme exhibited very satisfactory storage stability at 4–30°C either as crude culture filtrate or as spray- or freeze-dried powder. The crude enzyme was active over a broad range of pH and had activity optima at pH 6.5 and 70–75°C. The enzyme was almost thermostable (91–92%) at pH 6.5 and 9.0 after 41 h preincubation at 55°C and lost only 20–33% activity after 188 h. In contrast, it was much less thermostable at pH 5.0 and 11.0. Xylanases produced on different lignocellulosic substrates exhibited differences in thermostability at 55°C and pH 6.5.