Cellulase Recovery via Membrane Filtration

  • Wendy D. Mores
  • Jeffrey S. Knutsen
  • Robert H. DavisEmail author
Part of the ABAB Symposium book series (ABAB)


A combined sedimentation and membrane filtration process was investigated for recycling cellulase enzymes in the biomass-to-ethanol process. In the first stage, lignocellulose particles longer than approx 50µm were removed by means of sedimentation in an inclined settler. Microfiltration was then utilized to remove the remaining suspended solids. Finally, the soluble cellulase enzymes were recovered by ultrafiltration. The permeate fluxes obtained in microfiltration and ultrafiltration were approx 400 and 80 L/(m2 h), respectively. A preliminary economic analysis shows that the cost benefit of enzyme recycling may be as much as 18 cents/gal of ethanol produced, provided that 75% of the enzyme is recycled in active form.

Index Entries

Sedimentation microfiltration ultrafiltration cellulase enzyme 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy D. Mores
    • 1
  • Jeffrey S. Knutsen
    • 1
  • Robert H. Davis
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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