Cellulase adsorption on lignin: A roadblock for economic hydrolysis of biomass

Volume 98, December 2016, Pages 29–42

Special Issue: New Horizons in Biofuels Production and Technologies

Edited By Ashok Pandey, Duu Jong Lee, Samir K. Khanal and Reeta Rani Singhania


first exhaustive review on nonproductive cellulase binding to lignin.

Nonproductive cellulase binding to lignin is detrimental to bioethanol production.

Preventing nonproductive cellulase binding will reduce enzyme dosage.

Pretreatment of biomass and hydrophilic modification of lignin increases hydrolysis.


Enzymatic saccharification of biomass is a crucial step in bioethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass through sugar platform which essentially requires attachment of cellulases onto cellulose which is affected by the presence of lignin in biomass. This article focuses on types of interaction between cellulase-lignin and the possible strategies to restrict or overcome it so as to allow maximum cellulases for cellulase-cellulose productive binding. By inhibiting cellulase-lignin binding the cellulase dosage could be reduced dramatically thereby reducing the cost of enzyme in bioethanol process. The techniques to study these interactions have also been discussed.

Graphical abstract


  • Cellulase;
  • Lignin;
  • Biomass;
  • Pretreatment;
  • Hydrolysis;
  • Enzyme inhibition

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