Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Enzymatic bio-processing of cotton generates significantly less hazardous wastewater effluents, which are readily biodegradable, but it also has several critical shortcomings that impede its acceptance by industries: expensive processing costs and slow reaction rates. Our research has found that the introduction of a low energy, uniform ultrasound field into enzyme processing solutions greatly improved enzymes effectiveness by significantly increasing their reaction rate. It has been established that the following specific features of combined enzyme/ultrasound bio-processing of cotton are critically important: a) cavitation effects caused by introduction of ultrasound field into the enzyme processing solution greatly enhance the transport of enzyme macromolecules toward the substrate’s surface, b) mechanical impacts, produced by the collapse of cavitation bubbles, provide an important benefit of “opening up” the surface of solid substrates to the action of enzymes, c) the effect of cavitation is several hundred times greater in heterogeneous systems (solid substrate-liquid) than in homogeneous, and d) in water, the maximum effects of cavitation occur at ~50 C, which is the optimum temperature for many enzymes.