The effect of aeration on the production of xylanase by Trichoderma longibrachiatum on wheat bran in a solid-state fermentation (SSF) system has not been investigated. This study was conducted to investigate the interactive effects of aeration, initial moisture content of the substrate, and depth of the substrate on xylanase activity produced in a tray fermenter. The experiment was conducted as a split plot experiment with factorial treatments and three replications of each treatment combination. The whole plot treatment was aeration rate (0, 2.9, 5.7 L/min/kg bran). Initial moisture content (45, 55, 65% w.b.) and depth of substrate (1.0 and 2.5 cm) were investigated factorially. Trays of wheat bran were assayed after fermentation by Trichoderma longibrachiatum to determine the production of xylanase activity. Aeration rate had a significant nonlinear effect on enzyme activity with highest yields obtained at an aeration rate of 2.9 L/min/kg bran (738 U/g, averaged over all initial moisture contents and depth of substrates). Initial moisture content of the substrate also had a significant nonlinear effect on enzyme activity with the highest yields at 55% (556 U/g, averaged over all airflow rates and depths of substrate). Depth of substrate had no significant statistical effect on enzyme activity. The treatment combination of 2.9 L/min/kg airflow rate and 55% moisture content resulted in the highest yields (948 U/g, averaged over depth of substrate).

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Published in Transactions of the ASAE, v. 42, issue 6, p. 1785-1790.

© 1999 American Society of Agricultural Engineers

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The investigation reported in this article (no. 98-05-137) was part of a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director.