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Enzyme Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 405603, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/405603
Research Article

Evaluation of Chlorella (Chlorophyta) as Source of Fermentable Sugars via Cell Wall Enzymatic Hydrolysis

1Laboratory of Studies Applicable to Photosynthesis (LEAF), Biochemistry Department, Center of Technology, Chemistry Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Bloco A, Avenida Athos da Silveira Ramos 149, Ilha do Fundão, 21 941-909 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Enzyme Technology Laboratory (ENZITEC), Biochemistry Department, Center of Technology, Chemistry Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Bloco A, Avenida Athos da Silveira Ramos 149, Ilha do Fundão, 21 941-909 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 23 December 2010; Accepted 28 February 2011

Academic Editor: Mohamed Kheireddine Aroua

Copyright © 2011 Marcoaurélio Almenara Rodrigues and Elba Pinto da Silva Bon. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The cell wall of Chlorella is composed of up to 80% carbohydrates including cellulose. In this study, Chlorella homosphaera and Chlorella zofingiensis were evaluated as source of fermentable sugars via their cell wall enzymatic degradation. The algae were cultivated in inorganic medium, collected at the stationary growth phase and centrifuged. The cell pellet was suspended in citrate buffer, pH 4.8 and subjected to 24 hours hydrolysis at 50°C using a cellulases, xylanases, and amylases blend. The measurement of glucose and reducing sugars concentration in the reaction mixture supernatant, on a dry biomass base, showed hydrolysis yields of 2.9% and 5.03% glucose and 4.8% and 8.6% reducing sugars, for C. homosphaera and C. zofingiensis, respectively. However if cells were washed with chilled ethanol, cold dried, and grounded the biomass hydrolysis yields increased to 23.3% and 18.4% glucose and 24.5% and 19.3% reducing sugars for C. homosphaera and C. zofingiensis, respectively.