Effects of C/N Ratio on Lignocellulose Degradation and Enzyme Activities in Aerobic Composting

Abstract

Lignocellulosic materials have a complex physicochemical composition and structure that reduces their decomposition rate and hinders the formation of humic substances during composting. Therefore, a composting experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of different C/N ratios on lignocellulose (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) degradation and the activities of corresponding enzymes during aerobic composting. The study had five C/N ratios, namely, T1 (C/N ratio of 15), T2 (C/N ratio of 20), T3 (C/N ratio of 25), T4 (C/N ratio of 30) and T5 (C/N ratio of 35). The results showed that treatments T3 and T4 had the highest rate of degradation of cellulose and hemicellulose, while treatment T3 had the highest rate of degradation of lignin. Among the five treatments, treatment T3 enhanced the degradation of the lignocellulose constituents, indicating a degradation rate of 6.86–35.17%, 15.63–44.08% and 31.69–165.60% for cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, respectively. The degradation of cellulose and lignin occurred mainly at the thermophilic and late mesophilic phases of composting, while hemicellulose degradation occurred at the maturation phase. Treatment T3 was the best C/N ratio to stimulate the activities of manganese peroxidase, lignin peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase, which in turn promoted lignocellulose degradation

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