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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Cotton Fibers: Modeling Using an Empirical Equation

Authors: Ajoy K. Sarkar and J. Nolan Etters
Pages: 254-260
Textile Technology

In recent years, there has been a tremendous growth in the use of enzymes in wet-processing of textiles. Of the many enzymes suitable for textile applications, cellulase is one of the most important. Cellulase is used in biopolishing of cotton fibers to improve fabric smoothness and softness and in biofinishing denim garments to produce a worn look. To harness the full potential of cellulase and discover additional novel uses for this enzyme in cotton processing, it is imperative to understand the kinetics of the enzymatic action of cellulase on cotton cellulose. In this study, enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose in cotton fibers by a cellulase mixture was monitored by measuring products of hydrolysis as a function of time in a test reaction vessel. Subsequently, an empirical equation was applied to the data to characterize the cotton cellulose-cellulase system. In spite of its simple form, the empirical equation provided a good fit to the experimental data. In addition, the empirical equation provided pertinent mechanistic information without resorting to the use of complex kinetic models.