Lignocellulose-containing biomass is the most abundant renewable organic resources (∼200 billion tons annually), of which lignocellulosic substances account for about 60 % of total plant biomass. The microbial decomposition and recycling of these persistent natural polymers plays a key role in the global carbon cycle and is the basis for the development of innovative biotechnological processes for different industries (pulp and paper, textile, chemical synthesis). Vietnam is still to a large extent a rural country, the agricultural production annually leaves more than one hundred million tons of lignocellulosic biomass, which has attractive ideas to make use of it as renewable resource for the production of biofuels, bulk chemicals and other industrial products. Furthermore, there is generally a huge biodiversity of fungal organisms in the country due to diverse habitats, which let expect a promising potential of species and biocatalysts for conversion of agro-industrial residues into value-added products. Although more than 1,400 species of higher fungi in Vietnam have been described but this is surely just the tip of the iceberg. Fungal resources applied in biochemical and biotechnological terms are still widely unused and hardly investigated in Vietnam.
This book is primarily focused, but does not limit, on the fungal esterases that are required and applied for lignocellulose conversion. In addition, it attempts to relate this main focus to the other areas that influence the process as a whole, and the relevant points can be summarized as follows:
• Composition and availability of the lignocellulosic biomass as well as its biotechnological and industrial importance. Fungal degradation and contribution of the hydrolytic enzymes to breakdown of carbon-carbon and ester linkages in lignocellulose complex.
• Investigation and demonstration of applicability of enzyme- and enzyme cocktail-based methods to convert raw lignocellulosic materials into valuable and usable platform chemicals for industrial purposes, e.g. lignin fragments, carbohydrates and hydroxycinnamic acid esters (HCAs).
As the result of previous studies, a novel EC-unclassified GH78 hydrolase (a bifunctional α-L- rhamnosidase - esterase) from a wood-rot fungus is the subject of this book.
• Lignocellulose is quite resistant to bioconversion, therefore the novel approach of combining enzymatic and chemical depolymerization might be very promising for efficient and selective lignocellulose valorization processes. Thus, the 3rd section of this book is elucidation of the release kinetics and the kinetic mechanism in alkaline treatment as well as the recovery of targeted compounds, i.e. HCAs.
• The final part of this book deals with the experiments to be used in the corresponding studies.
This book has been written to serve as a professional reference for academic institutions as well as for post graduate students, particularly in the fields of fungal diversity, biotechnology, enzyme technology, biomolecular engineering, and chemical catalysis.