Degradation of synthetic xylan effluent using a membrane bioreactor

Edward, V. A. ; Pillay, V. L. ; Swart, P. ; Jacobs, E. ; Singh, S. (2003)

CITATION: Edward, V. A., et al. 2003. Degradation of synthetic xylan effluent using a membrane bioreactor. South African Journal of Science, 99(7-8):315-317.

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We have built a novel membrane bioreactor for the degradation of synthetic xylan effluent. The reactor contains 30 internally skinned polysulphone membranes as an immobilization matrix for xylanase, the degrading agent, and was constructed with stainless steel to withstand high temperatures, as Thermomyces lanuginosus SSBP xylanase has an optimum temperature of 50°C. Overall, 85.1% of the xylanase was immobilized onto the polysulphone membranes by adsorption. Preliminary results showed that the immobilized enzyme was capable of degrading the xylan effluent. Prior to contact with xylanase, there was 0.0 μg ml-1 xylose, 14.2 μg ml-1 xylobiose and 7.2 μg ml-1 xylotriose present in the xylan effluent. After 180 min, the xylose, xylobiose and xylotriose concentrations were 246, 103 and 91 μg ml-1, respectively. Substantial increase in degradation products is promising for the development of a larger-scale bioreactor for effluent treatment.

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