University of York researchers lead discovery of valuable enzyme to break down lignocellulose

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In the UK, discovery of a novel enzyme that releases a valuable chemical from agricultural waste could provide an important breakthrough in the upscaling of renewable fuels and chemicals, a new study shows.

Researchers – led by the University of York – have discovered an enzyme in a fungus which can act as a catalyst to bring about a biochemical reaction that breaks down lignocellulose.

There are currently no industrial biocatalytic processes for breaking down lignin. But researchers found that an enzyme produced by a fungus called, Parascedosporium putredinis NO1, can break through the lignin to begin the essential process of degradation needed to ultimately produce biofuels.