Energy-cost reduction in starch processing using aqueous two phase reactor systems

Mian Li, Jin Woo Kim, Tonya L. Peeples

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1 Citation (SciVal)


Saccharification is an energy intensive process of particular industrial interest in agribusiness. Considerable improvements to the energy costs of processing can be made by the elimination of multiple high temperature steps during liquefaction. To facilitate technology development for more energy efficient saccharification, the effectiveness of thermoseparating polymer-based aqueous two-phase reactor systems (ATPRS) in the enzymatic hydrolysis of starch was investigated. The partition behavior of pure α-amylase, and a recombinant, thermostable α-amylase (MJA1) from the hyperthermophile, Methanococcusjannaschii and amyloglucosidase in PEO-PPO/salt aqueous two-phase systems was evaluated. All of the studied enzymes partitioned unevenly in these systems. Hydrolysis of soluble starch and com starch into glucose by thermostable α-amylase and amyloglucosidase was performed in an ATPRS coupled with temperature-induced phase separation. Use of the ATPRS reduced the hydrolysis time to half of that for single-phase processing, thus reducing energy inputs. The hydrolysis time was 18 hours for 20% soluble starch with an amyloglucosidase concentration of 2.18 unit mL-1 in the aqueous system, but only 11 hours in aqueous two-phase reactor system. The extent of product inhibition is greatly reduced. These results reveal the potential for polymer-enhanced extractive bioconversion of starch a sa practical technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2709-2724
Number of pages16
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number12-13
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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