Enzymatic degradation of low-rank coals by a cell-free enzymatic system from Coriolus versicolor

John W. Pyne, Dorothy L. Stewart, John Linehan, Roger M. Bean, Mathew A. Powell, Richard B. Lucke, Berta L. Thomas, James A. Campbell, Bary W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


An extracellular fraction from the lignin degrading white-rot fungus, Coriolus versicolor, can biosolubilize leonardite and pretreated lignites in vitro. Leonardite is often found as an overburden to lignite deposits, and is related to humic acid, and is more oxidized than lignites. Extracts from certain fungi such as C. versicolor solubilize leonardite. The biosolubilization activity is at least in part enzymatic in nature. A protein which is at least partly responsible for the solubilization effect has been substantially purified and concentrated by ultrafiltration and ion-exchange chromatography from the broth of an agitated submerged culture of C. versicolor grown in a defined medium. An in vitro coal biosolubilization assay was used to establish the effects of various physical and chemical factors affecting enzyme activity, including temperature and the salt and buffer composition of the reaction mixture. Some initial studies on the mechanism of the enzymatic leonardite biosolubilization reaction are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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