Leipzig University, Institute of Biology

Topic of investigations in the project (title)

Investigations on pre-treatment of lignocellulosic substrates
Production and optimization of the P. verruculosum enzyme complex for the use in the SSF-process
Optimizing the saccharification of the cellulose content from annual plants


Leipzig University
Institute of Biology, Dept. Plant Physiology


Permoserstraße 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany

Project leader:

Prof. Dr. Christian Wilhelm

Responsible co-worker:

Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Spindler, Dr. Swetlana König


One topic of the sub-project concerns investigations on a pre-treatment process, which allows the separation both of the lignin content and the carbohydrate content for material application.
The pre-treatment of wheat straw is operated with formic acid according to the so called Natural-Pulping-Process. This procedure proved to be useful for the following SSF-process. The lignin could be separated nearly completely in a workable quality.
The second subject is the development of a Penicillium verruculosum enzyme complex which is optimized for the saccharification of the carbohydrate content in a process of simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF). The P. verruculosum mutant strain forms an enzyme complex with a higher specific activity towards cellulose in comparison with T. reesei production strains. The optimization of the cellulase fermentation concerns both investigations on the medium, including stillage as substrate, and investigations on feedback-controlled fed-batch-techniques.
In a final step, both the pre-treatment of wheat straw and the SSF-process using the optimized P. verruculosum enzyme complex and a model yeast strain are demonstrated in a pilot scale.