Amylase partitioning and extractive bioconversion of starch using thermoseparating aqueous two-phase systems

M. Li, J. W. Kim, T. L. Peeples

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64 Scopus citations


The effectiveness of thermoseparating polymer-based aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) in the enzymatic hydrolysis of starch was investigated. In this work, the phase diagrams of PEO-PPO-2500/ammonium sulfate and PEO-PPO-2500/magnesium sulfate systems were determined at 25°C. The partition behavior of pure α-amylase and amyloglucosidase in four ATPS, namely, PEO-PPO/(NH4)2SO4, PEO-PPO/MgSO4, polyethylene glycol (PEG)/(NH4)2SO4, and PEG/MgSO4, was evaluated. The effects of phase-forming component concentrations on the enzyme activity and partitioning were assessed. Partitioning of a recombinant, thermostable α-amylase (MJA1) from the hyperthermophile, Methanococcus jannaschii was also investigated. All of the studied enzymes partitioned unevenly in these polymer/salt systems. The PEO-PPO-2500/MgSO4 system was extremely attractive for starch hydrolysis. Polymer-based starch hydrolysis experiments containing PEO-PPO-2500/MgSO4 indicated that the use of ATPS had a significant effect on soluble starch hydrolysis. Batch starch hydrolysis experiments with PEO-PPO/salt two-phase systems resulted in higher production of maltose or glucose and exhibited remarkably faster hydrolysis. A 22% gain in maltose yield was obtained as a result of the increased productivity. This work is the first reported application of thermoseparating polymer ATPS in the processing of starches. These results reveal the potential for thermoseparating polymer-enhanced extractive bioconversion of starch as a practical technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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