Waste paper is a major component of solid waste with cellulose, a glucose biopolymer, as structural component. Cellulose is a worthy substance with renewable possibilities and if resolved into glucose it could be utilised as a feedstock for fermentation into bioproducts like bioethanol and biopharmaceuticals. The extent of saccharification is an important variable to maximise waste paper as a renewable feedstock. The structural nature of cellulose however prevents an effective bioconversion process and as a result procedures need to be developed making waste cellulose more susceptible for the hydrolytic action of cellulase. Seven different paper materials have been chemically and physically pre-treated prior to cellulase catalysed saccharification with Trichoderma viride cellulase. Non-treated brown envelope paper showed the highest relative degree of saccharification followed by Pick ’n Pay advertising paper from a local retailer and foolscap paper while newspaper resulted in the lowest degree of saccharification. When pre-treated with a combined chemical and physical procedure composed of NaOH and sonication the bioconversion of brown envelope paper showed the highest degree of degradation followed by foolscap paper and office paper. The highest percentage increase in saccharification due to pre-treatment was observed with office paper while newspaper and Woolworths advertsing showing a decrease in saccharification after pre-treatment.
- T. viride cellulase
- Waste paper