Biodegradation of Waste Cellulose

J. P.H. Van Wyk, M. Mohulatsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental issues such as the depletion of nonrenewable energy resources and pollution are very topical and would need more scientific attention in order to be addressed in a way beneficial to life. The extent of solid waste production is a global concern and development of its bioenergy potential can simultaneously address issues such as pollution control and renewable energy development. Various wastepaper materials, a major component of solid waste, have been treated with cellulase from Trichoderma viride to bioconvert its cellulose component into fermentable sugars that could be utilized as feedstock for bioproduct development. These paper materials exhibited different susceptibilities toward the cellulase and showed different sugar-releasing patterns when increasing amounts of each paper were treated with the enzyme. Bioconversion of paper with different enzyme concentrations and during various time intervals also resulted in nonsimilar sugar-releasing patterns. With all the paper materials, a general decline in efficiency was observed with increasing amounts of sugar produced during the different bioconversion variables investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Polymers and the Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


  • Biodegradation
  • Bioenergy
  • Cellulase
  • Trichoderma viride
  • Wastepaper


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