The drop of petroleum reserves, the growing energy demand from emerging countries, and the eminent necessity for reducing carbon dioxide emissions indicate the importance for the pursuit of new sources of renewable energy. However, such sources must have a real character of effective replacement and not only be complementary to the existing resources. Thus, the bioethanol production by hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass, such as sugarcane bagasse, has received considerable attention. Due to its potential for development and cost reduction, the enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis can be the key factor for second generation bioethanol production at competitive cost in long term. Thermophilical bacteria, such as Clostridium thermocellum, produces an extracellular multi-enzyme complex named cellulosome, which has been demonstrating a very high ability for an efficient degradation of cellulosic biomass, in particular the crystalline portion of cellulose. The main objective of this research project is to characterize the cellulosomal ²-glucosidases enzymes from C. thermocellum of different glycoside hydrolases (GHs) families, applying structural and biophysical analyses. Considering that purpose, we shall conduct comparative studies, specifically from GH1 and GH3 glycoside hydrolases families. Therefore, it is intended to understand the enzymatic mechanisms of cellulosomal ²-glucosidase, which can form the basis for obtaining enzymes with improved performance on biomass depolymerisation.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: