Disclosed is a method for converting cellulose in a lignocellulosic biomass. The method provides for a lignin-blocking polypeptide and/or protein treatment of high lignin solids. The treatment enhances cellulase availability in cellulose conversion and allows for the determination of optimized pretreatment conditions. Additionally, ethanol yields from a Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation process are improved 5-25% by treatment with a lignin-blocking polypeptide and/or protein. Thus, a more efficient and economical method of processing lignin containing biomass materials utilizes a polypeptide/protein treatment step that effectively blocks lignin binding of cellulase.
The United States Government may have certain rights in the present invention as research relevant to its development was finded by United States Department of Energy (DOE) contract numbers DE FC36-00GO010589 and DE FC36-01GO11075 and by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) contract number 60NANB1D0064.