Industrial applications and properties of oxalate-degrading enzymes
Sammanfattning: Oxalate-degrading enzymes were investigated with focus on potential applications in the pulp and paper industry and in active packaging. Changes introduced to make the pulp and paper industry more environmentally friendly, such as recirculation of process-water streams and elementary chlorine free bleaching of pulp, have led to increasing problems with precipitation of calcium oxalate. The potential of using enzymes for degradation of oxalic acid in industrial bleaching filtrates was explored to find a way to decrease the problem.The studies included chemical characterization and enzymatic treatments of 34 filtrates from kraft, mechanical, and sulfite pulping. Eight oxalate-degrading enzymes were included in the experiments. The treatments of the filtrates were affected by substances that inhibit oxalate-degrading enzymes. Multivariate data analysis, analytical treatment of filtrates with ion-exchange resins, and analysis of the effects of separate compounds on the enzyme activity were employed as tools to investigate inhibiting substances and groups of inhibitors. The experiments with ion-exchangers indicated that the inhibitors included anions, cations, as well as uncharged substances. Sulfite (?1 mM) caused complete or almost complete inhibition of all oxalate-degrading enzymes so far examined, while the effects of chlorine oxyanions differed for the various enzymes investigated. A newly discovered oxalate decarboxylase was chosen for experiments performed directly in a mill producing mechanical pulp. The new enzyme degraded 70% of the oxalic acid in one hour, while the well-characterized oxalate decarboxylase from Aspergillus niger degraded <5% of the oxalic acid during the same period of time.Oxalate decarboxylase from the white-rot basidiomycete fungus Trametes versicolor was purified by using chromatographic methods and characterized with gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry. Results indicate that it is a 69-kDa heavily glycosylated enzyme with optimal activity at pH 2.5.Experiments designed to investigate the potential of using oxalate oxidase from barley in active packaging showed that it could be entrapped with retained catalytic activity in a latex-polymer matrix. Furthermore, the experiments indicate that oxalate oxidase can be used in active packaging either as an oxalic acid scavenger or as an oxygen scavenger.
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