Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering
On-line version ISSN 0104-6632
SOUSA JR., R.; CARVALHO, M. L.; GIORDANO, R. L. C. and GIORDANO, R. C.. Recent trends in the modeling of cellulose hydrolysis. Braz. J. Chem. Eng. [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.4, pp. 545-564. ISSN 0104-6632. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-66322011000400001.
This work reviews recent trends in the modeling of cellulose hydrolysis, within the perspective of application of kinetic models in a bioreactor engineering framework, including scale-up, design and process optimization. From this point of view, despite the phenomenological insight that mechanistic models can provide, the expectation that more detailed approaches could be a basis for extrapolations to different substrates and/or enzymatic pools is still not fulfilled. The complexity of the lignocellulosic matrix, the different mechanisms of catalytic action, the role of mass transfer limitations and the deviations from ideal mixing are important difficulties for the modeler, which will continue to impose more conservative approaches for scale-up. Nevertheless, the search for more robust models is a very important task, provided that the engineer is aware of their limitations. Data-driven, non-mechanistic models such as artificial neural networks, perhaps in combination with other approaches in the so-called hybrid models, is also a promising alternative.
Keywords : Cellulose hydrolysis; Kinetics; Mathematical modeling; Bioreactor design.