Cellulose is the most abundant natural polymer on earth and cellulase catalyses the hydrolysis of this cellulose. Cellulase converts insoluble cellulose into soluble sugars. Cellulase is extensively used in textile, paper & pulp, detergent, food and leather industry.
In India, cellulase is used mostly in the textile industry in the desizing process and in paper industry in modification of fiber properties. While, studies are being conducted around the world for producing biofuel by the help of cellulase enzyme.
Some of the industrial applications of cellulase enzyme are:
Textile industry :
Used in wet processing of the textile fabric
Biopolishing and biostoning are main uses of cellulase enzyme
Used in fabric softening
Used in removal of excess dye from the fabric
Paper & Pulp Industry :
Used as a alternative for efficient and cheap pulping process
Used for deinking process instead of chemicals called bio-deinking
Cellulase prevents yellowing of paper during processing
Used as an additive in detergent and laundry products for stain removal, they are used as individual enzymes as well as enzymes blended with other enzymes to increase the effectiveness of the detergent.
In agriculture, cellulase along with other enzymes like pectinases and hemicellulases are used for pest control as they degrade the cell wall of plant pathogens.
Cellulase enzyme is one of the main ingredients in today’s animal feed especially for cattle as their main source of nutrition comes from plant products and cellulose is an essential component in plant material. They increase the digestion process and increase the feed consumption ratio in the cattle.
The wastes generated in the kitchen and agricultural field are mostly cellulosic material and thus cellulase enzyme is used to degrade these wastes into manures instead of burning them which not only taxicate the atmosphere but also not good in terms of economic perspective.