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Title: Biochemical transformation of lignin for deriving valued commodities from lignocellulose

Abstract

The biochemical properties of lignin present major obstacles to deriving societally beneficial entities from lignocellulosic biomass, an abundant and renewable feedstock. Similar to other biopolymers such as polysaccharides, polypeptides, and ribonucleic acids, lignin polymers are derived from multiple types of monomeric units. However, lignin’s renowned recalcitrance is largely attributable to its racemic nature and the variety of covalent inter-unit linkages through which its aromatic monomers are linked. Indeed, unlike other biopolymers whose monomers are consistently inter-linked by a single type of covalent bond, the monomeric units in lignin are linked via non-enzymatic, combinatorial radical coupling reactions that give rise to a variety of inter-unit covalent bonds in mildly branched racemic polymers. Yet, despite the chemical complexity and stability of lignin, significant strides have been made in recent years to identify routes through which valued commodities can be derived from it. This paper discusses emerging biological and biochemical means through which degradation of lignin to aromatic monomers can lead to the derivation of commercially valuable products.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). U.S. Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Wisconsin Energy Institute
  2. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). U.S. Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Wisconsin Energy Institute and Department of Biochemistry
  3. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). U.S. Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Wisconsin Energy Institute and Department of Bacteriology
  4. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). U.S. Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Wisconsin Energy Institute and Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1393270
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1427583
Grant/Contract Number:
FC02-07ER64494
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0958-1669
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 09 BIOMASS FUELS

Citation Formats

Gall, Daniel L., Ralph, John, Donohue, Timothy J., and Noguera, Daniel R. Biochemical transformation of lignin for deriving valued commodities from lignocellulose. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2017.02.015.
Gall, Daniel L., Ralph, John, Donohue, Timothy J., & Noguera, Daniel R. Biochemical transformation of lignin for deriving valued commodities from lignocellulose. United States. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2017.02.015.
Gall, Daniel L., Ralph, John, Donohue, Timothy J., and Noguera, Daniel R. Fri . "Biochemical transformation of lignin for deriving valued commodities from lignocellulose". United States. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2017.02.015.
@article{osti_1393270,
title = {Biochemical transformation of lignin for deriving valued commodities from lignocellulose},
author = {Gall, Daniel L. and Ralph, John and Donohue, Timothy J. and Noguera, Daniel R.},
abstractNote = {The biochemical properties of lignin present major obstacles to deriving societally beneficial entities from lignocellulosic biomass, an abundant and renewable feedstock. Similar to other biopolymers such as polysaccharides, polypeptides, and ribonucleic acids, lignin polymers are derived from multiple types of monomeric units. However, lignin’s renowned recalcitrance is largely attributable to its racemic nature and the variety of covalent inter-unit linkages through which its aromatic monomers are linked. Indeed, unlike other biopolymers whose monomers are consistently inter-linked by a single type of covalent bond, the monomeric units in lignin are linked via non-enzymatic, combinatorial radical coupling reactions that give rise to a variety of inter-unit covalent bonds in mildly branched racemic polymers. Yet, despite the chemical complexity and stability of lignin, significant strides have been made in recent years to identify routes through which valued commodities can be derived from it. This paper discusses emerging biological and biochemical means through which degradation of lignin to aromatic monomers can lead to the derivation of commercially valuable products.},
doi = {10.1016/j.copbio.2017.02.015},
journal = {Current Opinion in Biotechnology},
number = C,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 24 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Mar 24 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1016/j.copbio.2017.02.015

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 6works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

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  • The biochemical properties of lignin present major obstacles to deriving societally beneficial entities from lignocellulosic biomass, an abundant and renewable feedstock. Similar to other biopolymers such as polysaccharides, polypeptides, and ribonucleic acids, lignin polymers are derived from multiple types of monomeric units. However, lignin’s renowned recalcitrance is largely attributable to its racemic nature and the variety of covalent inter-unit linkages through which its aromatic monomers are linked. Indeed, unlike other biopolymers whose monomers are consistently inter-linked by a single type of covalent bond, the monomeric units in lignin are linked via non-enzymatic, combinatorial radical coupling reactions that give rise tomore » a variety of inter-unit covalent bonds in mildly branched racemic polymers. Yet, despite the chemical complexity and stability of lignin, significant strides have been made in recent years to identify routes through which valued commodities can be derived from it. This paper discusses emerging biological and biochemical means through which degradation of lignin to aromatic monomers can lead to the derivation of commercially valuable products.« less
  • In pursuit of more sustainable and competitive biorefineries, the effective valorisation of lignin is key. An alluring opportunity is the exploitation of lignin as a resource for chemicals. Three technological biorefinery aspects will determine the realisation of a successful lignin-to-chemicals valorisation chain, namely (i) lignocellulose fractionation, (ii) lignin depolymerisation, and (iii) upgrading towards targeted chemicals. This review provides a summary and perspective of the extensive research that has been devoted to each of these three interconnected biorefinery aspects, ranging from industrially well-established techniques to the latest cutting edge innovations. To navigate the reader through the overwhelming collection of literature onmore » each topic, distinct strategies/topics were delineated and summarised in comprehensive overview figures. Upon closer inspection, conceptual principles arise that rationalise the success of certain methodologies, and more importantly, can guide future research to further expand the portfolio of promising technologies. When targeting chemicals, a key objective during the fractionation and depolymerisation stage is to minimise lignin condensation (i.e. formation of resistive carbon-carbon linkages). During fractionation, this can be achieved by either (i) preserving the (native) lignin structure or (ii) by tolerating depolymerisation of the lignin polymer but preventing condensation through chemical quenching or physical removal of reactive intermediates. The latter strategy is also commonly applied in the lignin depolymerisation stage, while an alternative approach is to augment the relative rate of depolymerisation vs. condensation by enhancing the reactivity of the lignin structure towards depolymerisation. Finally, because depolymerised lignins often consist of a complex mixture of various compounds, upgrading of the raw product mixture through convergent transformations embodies a promising approach to decrease the complexity. This particular upgrading approach is termed funneling, and includes both chemocatalytic and biological strategies.« less
  • The purpose of the present study was to elucidate a method for predicting the intrahepatic arteriovenous shunt rate from computed tomography (CT) images and biochemical data, instead of from arterial perfusion scintigraphy, because adverse exacerbated systemic effects may be induced in cases where a high shunt rate exists. CT and arterial perfusion scintigraphy were performed in patients with liver metastases from gastric or colorectal cancer. Biochemical data and tumor marker levels of 33 enrolled patients were measured. The results were statistically verified by multiple regression analysis. The total metastatic hepatic tumor volume (V{sub metastasized}), residual hepatic parenchyma volume (V{sub residual};more » calculated from CT images), and biochemical data were treated as independent variables; the intrahepatic arteriovenous (IHAV) shunt rate (calculated from scintigraphy) was treated as a dependent variable. The IHAV shunt rate was 15.1 {+-} 11.9%. Based on the correlation matrixes, the best correlation coefficient of 0.84 was established between the IHAV shunt rate and V{sub metastasized} (p < 0.01). In the multiple regression analysis with the IHAV shunt rate as the dependent variable, the coefficient of determination (R{sup 2}) was 0.75, which was significant at the 0.1% level with two significant independent variables (V{sub metastasized} and V{sub residual}). The standardized regression coefficients ({beta}) of V{sub metastasized} and V{sub residual} were significant at the 0.1 and 5% levels, respectively. Based on this result, we can obtain a predicted value of IHAV shunt rate (p < 0.001) using CT images. When a high shunt rate was predicted, beneficial and consistent clinical monitoring can be initiated in, for example, hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy.« less
  • Specifically radiolabeled (/sup 14/C-lignin)lignocelluloses and (/sup 14/C-polysaccharide)lignocelluloses were prepared from a variety of marine and freshwater wetland plants including a grass, a sedge, a rush, and a hardwood. These (/sup 14/C)lignocellulose preparations and synthetic (/sup 14/C)lignin were incubated anaerobically with anoxic sediments collected from a salt marsh, a freshwater marsh, and a mangrove swamp. During long-term incubations lasting up to 300 days, the lignin and polysaccharide components of the lignocelluloses were slowly degraded anaerobically to /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ and /sup 14/CH/sub 4/. Lignocelluloses derived from herbaceous plants were degraded more rapidly than lignocellulose derived from the hardwood. After 294 days,more » 16.9% of the lignin component and 30.0% of the polysaccharide component of lignocellulose derived from the grass used (Spartina alterniflora) were degraded to gaseous end products. In contrast, after 246 days, only 1.5% of the lignin component and 4.1% of the polysaccharide component of lignocellulose derived from the hardwood used (Rhizophora mangle) were degraded to gaseous end products. Synthetic (/sup 14/C) lignin was degraded anaerobically faster than the lignin component of the hardwood lignocellulose; after 276 days 3.7% of the synthetic lignin was degraded to gaseous end products. Contrary to previous reports, these results demonstrate that lignin and lignified plant tissues are biodegradable in the absence of oxygen. Although lignocelluloses are recalcitrant to anaerobic biodegradation, rates of degradation measured in aquatic sediments are significant and have important implications for the biospheric cycling of carbon from these abundant biopolymers. 31 references.« less
  • There has been great progress in the development of technology for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to sugars and subsequent fermentation to fuels. However, plant lignin remains an untapped source of materials for production of fuels or high value chemicals. Biological cleavage of lignin has been well characterized in fungi, in which enzymes that create free radical intermediates are used to degrade this material. In contrast, a catabolic pathway for the stereospecific cleavage of β-aryl ether units that are found in lignin has been identified in Sphingobium sp. SYK-6 bacteria. β-Aryl ether units are typically abundant in lignin, corresponding tomore » 50–70% of all of the intermonomer linkages. Consequently, a comprehensive understanding of enzymatic β-aryl ether (β-ether) cleavage is important for future efforts to biologically process lignin and its breakdown products. The crystal structures and biochemical characterization of the NAD-dependent dehydrogenases (LigD, LigO, and LigL) and the glutathione-dependent lyase LigG provide new insights into the early and late enzymes in the β-ether degradation pathway. We present detailed information on the cofactor and substrate binding sites and on the catalytic mechanisms of these enzymes, comparing them with other known members of their respective families. Information on the Lig enzymes provides new insight into their catalysis mechanisms and can inform future strategies for using aromatic oligomers derived from plant lignin as a source of valuable aromatic compounds for biofuels and other bioproducts.« less