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Title: Pseudo-lignin Formation during Dilute Acid Pretreatment for Cellulosic Ethanol

Abstract

Dilute acid-based pretreatment represents one of the most important pretreatment technologies to reduce biomass recalcitrance and it has been successfully applied to a wide range of feedstocks. During this type of pretreatment, the relative lignin content usually increases partially due to the loss of carbohydrates. More importantly, it has been reported that the increase of lignin content after dilute acid pretreatment is mainly due to the formation of pseudo-lignin. Furthermore, the exact reaction mechanisms leading to the formation of pseudo-lignin is still under investigation. However, it has been proposed that rearrangement of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) or furfural can produce aromatic type of compounds which can further undergo polymerization reactions to from a lignin-like polyphenolic structures termed as pseudo-lignin. Likewise, this mini-review mainly covers recent advances in understanding the fundamentals of pseudo-lignin formation during dilute acid pretreatment, the impact of its formation on enzymatic hydrolysis, and how to suppress its formation during dilute acid pretreatment.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1376592
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Recent Advances in Petrochemical Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 1; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2575-8578
Publisher:
Juniper Publishers
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; biomass recalcitrance; pseudo-lignin; dilute acid pretreatment; enzymatic hydrolysis; hydroxymethylfurfural; furfural

Citation Formats

Meng, Xianzhi, and Ragauskas, Arthur J. Pseudo-lignin Formation during Dilute Acid Pretreatment for Cellulosic Ethanol. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.19080/RAPSCI.2017.01.555551.
Meng, Xianzhi, & Ragauskas, Arthur J. Pseudo-lignin Formation during Dilute Acid Pretreatment for Cellulosic Ethanol. United States. doi:10.19080/RAPSCI.2017.01.555551.
Meng, Xianzhi, and Ragauskas, Arthur J. Mon . "Pseudo-lignin Formation during Dilute Acid Pretreatment for Cellulosic Ethanol". United States. doi:10.19080/RAPSCI.2017.01.555551. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1376592.
@article{osti_1376592,
title = {Pseudo-lignin Formation during Dilute Acid Pretreatment for Cellulosic Ethanol},
author = {Meng, Xianzhi and Ragauskas, Arthur J.},
abstractNote = {Dilute acid-based pretreatment represents one of the most important pretreatment technologies to reduce biomass recalcitrance and it has been successfully applied to a wide range of feedstocks. During this type of pretreatment, the relative lignin content usually increases partially due to the loss of carbohydrates. More importantly, it has been reported that the increase of lignin content after dilute acid pretreatment is mainly due to the formation of pseudo-lignin. Furthermore, the exact reaction mechanisms leading to the formation of pseudo-lignin is still under investigation. However, it has been proposed that rearrangement of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) or furfural can produce aromatic type of compounds which can further undergo polymerization reactions to from a lignin-like polyphenolic structures termed as pseudo-lignin. Likewise, this mini-review mainly covers recent advances in understanding the fundamentals of pseudo-lignin formation during dilute acid pretreatment, the impact of its formation on enzymatic hydrolysis, and how to suppress its formation during dilute acid pretreatment.},
doi = {10.19080/RAPSCI.2017.01.555551},
journal = {Recent Advances in Petrochemical Science},
number = 1,
volume = 1,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Apr 17 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon Apr 17 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • Electron microscopy of lignocellulosic biomass following high-temperature pretreatment revealed the presence of spherical formations on the surface of the residual biomass. The hypothesis that these droplet formations are composed of lignins and possible lignin carbohydrate complexes is being explored. Experiments were conducted to better understand the formation of these lignin droplets and the possible implications they might have on the enzymatic saccharification of pretreated biomass. It was demonstrated that these droplets are produced from corn stover during pretreatment under neutral and acidic pH at and above 130C, and that they can deposit back onto the surface of residual biomass. Themore » deposition of droplets produced under certain pretreatment conditions (acidic pH; T > 150C) and captured onto pure cellulose was shown to have a negative effect (5-20%) on the enzymatic saccharification of this substrate. It was noted that droplet density (per unit area) was greater and droplet size more variable under conditions where the greatest impact on enzymatic cellulose conversion was observed. These results indicate that this phenomenon has the potential to adversely affect the efficiency of enzymatic conversion in a lignocellulosic biorefinery.« less
  • Obtaining a better understanding of the complex mechanisms occurring during lignocellulosic deconstruction is critical to the continued growth of renewable biofuel production. A key step in bioethanol production is thermochemical pretreatment to reduce plant cell wall recalcitrance for downstream processes. Previous studies of dilute acid pretreatment (DAP) have shown significant changes in cellulose ultrastructure that occur during pretreatment, but there is still a substantial knowledge gap with respect to the influence of lignin on these cellulose ultrastructural changes. This study was designed to assess how the presence of lignin influences DAP-induced changes in cellulose ultrastructure, which might ultimately have largemore » implications with respect to enzymatic deconstruction efforts. Native, untreated hybrid poplar (Populus trichocarpa x Populus deltoids) samples and a partially delignified poplar sample (facilitated by acidic sodium chlorite pulping) were separately pretreated with dilute sulfuric acid (0.10 M) at 160°C for 15 minutes and 35 minutes, respectively . Following extensive characterization, the partially delignified biomass displayed more significant changes in cellulose ultrastructure following DAP than the native untreated biomass. With respect to the native untreated poplar, delignified poplar after DAP (in which approximately 40% lignin removal occurred) experienced: increased cellulose accessibility indicated by increased Simons’ stain (orange dye) adsorption from 21.8 to 72.5 mg/g, decreased cellulose weight-average degree of polymerization (DP w) from 3087 to 294 units, and increased cellulose crystallite size from 2.9 to 4.2 nm. These changes following DAP ultimately increased enzymatic sugar yield from 10 to 80%. We conclude that, overall, the results indicate a strong influence of lignin content on cellulose ultrastructural changes occurring during DAP. With the reduction of lignin content during DAP, the enlargement of cellulose microfibril dimensions and crystallite size becomes more apparent. Further, this enlargement of cellulose microfibril dimensions is attributed to specific processes, including the co-crystallization of crystalline cellulose driven by irreversible inter-chain hydrogen bonding (similar to hornification) and/or cellulose annealing that converts amorphous cellulose to paracrystalline and crystalline cellulose. Essentially, lignin acts as a barrier to prevent cellulose crystallinity increase and cellulose fibril coalescence during DAP.« less