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FibreZyme - Control and mechanisms of enzymes on cellulose fibers

Project Leader
Gübitz Georg, BOKU Project Leader
Type of Research
Applied Research
Project partners
Graz University of Technology, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Contact person: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Bauer, Institut für Papier-, Zellstoff- und Fasertechnik;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Gübitz Georg, Sub Projectleader (bis 11.01.2022)
Haske-Cornelius Oskar, Project Staff
Skopek Lukas, Project Staff
Nagl Martin, Project Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute for Environmental Biotechnology
Funded by
Austropapier Vereinigung der Österreichischen Papierindustrie, Gumpendorfer Straße 6 , 1060 Wien, Austria
FibreZyme aims gaining better understanding of enzyme reaction mechanisms during refining and their influence on fibre and paper properties. The results of FibreZyme include detailed mechanistic knowledge on the action of purified enzymes and of their combinations on cellulose fibres as well as process control strategies elaborated based on this knowledge. From these findings, corporate partners should be able to choose suitable enzyme formulations and implement applications for their different individual processes, without external consultation needed. Pulp and paper production is a large industrial sector in Austria with many mills interested in implementing efficient and environmentally friendly technologies. Within these efforts, the great potential of enzymes for several crucial process steps has been demonstrated. Enzyme technology can help to improve the economics of paper production process and at the same time reduce environmental impacts. Current research shows several advantages like reduced consumption of chemicals in pulping, increasing yield of fiber, reduced refining energy requirements, or to provide specific fiber modifications. FibreZyme will focus on enzymatic steps for refining, deinking and viscosity adjustment. So, there is a strong need to investigate where and how different enzymes act on the fibre structure, and to elucidate their effects on refining, dewatering, deinking and viscosity behavior.In these areas, a better understanding of the enzyme mechanism and the development of control strategies is of high importance. Especially, since enzymes can cause damage to fibres during unwanted machine shutdowns. The needed knowledge will be obtained by investigating the effects of enzymes on industrially used (real) as well as model substrates with the help of a combination of several analytical and imaging technologies. FibreZyme will address those challenges and aims to predict the enzyme performance in industrial implementation. In the end, the results of FibreZyme will contribute to a better understanding of all the beneficial effects of enzymes as well as of potential risks in pulp fibres processing. Furthermore, FibreZyme will provide company partners tools and protocols for enzyme selection, characterization and handling refining process. Control procedures developed by FibreZyme will help to optimize the enzyme beneficial effects while minimizing unwanted reactions in the areas of refining, deinking, de-watering and viscosity control.
Pulp and paper technology; Bioprocess technology; Enzyme technology; Process and plant safety;
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