Sequential bioconversion of used paper to sugars by cellulases from Trichoderma reesei and Penicillium funiculosum

J. P.H. Van Wyk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Used paper, a potential resource of alternative energy, can be recycled but mostly it forms a significant component of solid waste. Used office paper, foolscap paper, filter paper and newspaper have been treated with cellulase from Trichoderma reesei and Penicillium funiculosum to bioconvert their cellulose component into sugars. Both non-pretreated and pretreated paper was incubated successively with the two cellulases during four consecutive incubation periods of 1 h each. The amount of sugars released during this sequential treatment was compared with the total sugar produced during a 4 h period of continuous incubation with each enzyme system independently. Pre-treatment milling of paper proved to effectively increase the sugar formation under all incubation conditions. Successive incubation with the two enzyme systems of both non-pretreated and pretreated paper materials was more efficient than the corresponding continuous bioconversion. The highest relative sugar yield was experienced during successive treatment of pretreated materials when T. reesei cellulase initiated the degradation. However, maximum bioconversion of pretreated newspaper was obtained when P funiculosum initiated degradation. Pretreated foolscap paper was the most susceptible substrate with maximum bioconversion when exposed to both forms of successive cellulase treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Penicillium funiculosum
  • Pretreatment
  • Successive bioconversion
  • Trichoderma reesei
  • Used paper


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