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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11(11), 4285-4296; doi:10.3390/ijms11114285

Palm Date Fibers: Analysis and Enzymatic Hydrolysis

1,2,*  and 1
1 Department of Engineering, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden 2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, 84156-83111, Iran
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 September 2010 / Revised: 25 October 2010 / Accepted: 26 October 2010 / Published: 1 November 2010
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Waste palm dates were subjected to analysis for composition and enzymatic hydrolysis of their flesh fibers. The fruit contained 32% glucose and 30% fructose, while the water-insoluble fibers of its flesh consisted of 49.9% lignin and 20.9% polysaccharides. Water-insoluble fibers were settled to 55% of its initial volume in 12 h. The presence of skin and flesh colloidal fibers results in high viscosity and clogging problems during industrial processes. The settling velocity of the fibers was improved by enzymatic hydrolysis. Hydrolysis resulted in 84.3% conversion of the cellulosic part of the fibers as well as reducing the settling time to 10 minutes and the final settled volume to 4% of the initial volume. It implies easier separation of the fibers and facilitates fermentation processes in the corresponding industries. Two kinds of high- and low-lignin fibers were identified from the water-insoluble fibers. The high-lignin fibers (75% lignin) settled easily, while the low-lignin fibers (41.4% lignin) formed a slurry suspension which settled very slowly. The hydrophilicity of these low-lignin fibers is the major challenge of the industrial processes.
Keywords: palm date; fiber; enzymatic hydrolysis; settling; date composition palm date; fiber; enzymatic hydrolysis; settling; date composition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Shafiei, M.; Karimi, K.; Taherzadeh, M.J. Palm Date Fibers: Analysis and Enzymatic Hydrolysis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11, 4285-4296.

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