Study of enzymatic saccharification of Agave leaves biomass to yield fermentable sugars


Miguel A Medina-Morales, Oscar Soto-Cruz, Juan C Contreras-Esquivel, Raúl Rodríguez-Herrera, Heliodoro De la Garza-Toledo, Cristóbal N Aguilar. (2017). 3 Biotech, 7(1): 55. DOI: 1007/s13205-017-0714-9.

Agave is a good source of polysaccharides for the production of fermentable sugars as sustainable bioenergy feedstock solutions for semi-arid and arid lands. This plant grows in arid areas, which correspond to a large territory in northern Mexico. Having lignocellulose as the polysaccharide of interest, the information for the enzymatic saccharification of this kind of material is limited. Agave cell walls have a unique recalcitrant nature, but having a high cellulose content, makes this plant material an interesting research subject. In this work, acidic, alkaline and aqueous pretreatments were evaluated to generate a biomass rich in cellulose. The saccharification of pretreated Agave leaves-residue was evaluated under experimental designs to identify the most suitable conditions for enzymatic hydrolysis. Maximum value obtained was 31% glucose, which further increased to 41.4% at extended hydrolysis time of 96 h. The highest cellulose-saccharification reached was up to 61.81%, making Agave atrovirens an alternative for bioethanol production in its geographical
area of cultivation.

62 Medina-Morales et al 2017a