Comparison of the efficiency of bacterial and fungal laccases in delignification and detoxification of steam-pretreated lignocellulosic biomass for bioethanol production
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This study evaluates the potential of a bacterial laccase from Streptomyces ipomoeae (SilA) for delignification and detoxification of steam-exploded wheat straw, in comparison with a commercial fungal laccase from Trametes villosa. When alkali extraction followed by SilA laccase treatment was applied to the water insoluble solids fraction, a slight reduction in lignin content was detected, and after a saccharification step, an increase in both glucose and xylose production (16 and 6%, respectively) was observed. These effects were not produced with T. villosa laccase. Concerning to the fermentation process, the treatment of the steam-exploded whole slurry with both laccases produced a decrease in the phenol content by up to 35 and 71% with bacterial and fungal laccases, respectively. The phenols reduction resulted in an improved performance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae during a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) process, improving ethanol production rate. This enhancement was more marked with a presaccharification step prior to the SSF process.