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  • Cellulase refers to a class of enzymes produced chiefly by fungi, bacteria, and protozoans that catalyze the hydrolysis of cellulose.
  • Cellulase is an enzyme which breaks down cellulose to beta-glucose.
  • Five general types of cellulases based on the type of reaction catalyzed: Endo-cellulase, Exo-cellulase, Cellobiase,  Oxidative cellulases,    Cellulose phosphorylases .


  • Cellulose is obtained either directly or indirectly as forest production or in wastes such as straw, paper waste, municipal solid waste and other industrial wastes.
  • Successful utilization of cellulosic materials as renewable carbon sources is dependent on the development of economically feasible process technologies for cellulase production, and for the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic materials to low molecular weight products such as hexoses and pentoses


  • Recently, the biotechnology companies Genencor International and Novozymes Biotech have reported the development of technology that has reduced the cellulase cost for the cellulose-to-ethanol process from US$5.40 per gallon of ethanol to approximately 20 cents per gallon of ethanol.
  • The cellulase market is expected to expand dramatically when cellulases are used to hydrolyze pretreated
    cellulosic materials to sugars, which can be fermented to commodities such as bioethanol and biobased
    products on a large scale


  • Cellulase is used for commercial food processing in coffee.
  • Cellulase is used extensively in the isolation of plant protoplasts, frequently in combination with Macerozyme R10 .
  • Cellulase is used as a treatment for Phytobezoars, a form of cellulose bezoar found in the human stomach.

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