skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Synergistic enzymatic and microbial lignin conversion

Abstract

We represent the utilization of lignin for fungible fuels and chemicals and it's one of the most imminent challenges in modern biorefineries. However, bioconversion of lignin is highly challenging due to its recalcitrant nature as a phenolic heteropolymer. This study addressed the challenges by revealing the chemical and biological mechanisms for synergistic lignin degradation by a bacterial and enzymatic system, which significantly improved lignin consumption, cell growth and lipid yield. The Rhodococcus opacus cell growth increased exponentially in response to the level of laccase treatment, indicating the synergy between laccase and bacterial cells in lignin degradation. Other treatments like iron and hydrogen peroxide showed limited impact on cell growth. Chemical analysis of lignin under various treatments further confirmed the synergy between laccase and cells at the chemical level. 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) suggested that laccase, R. opacus cell and Fenton reaction reagents promoted the degradation of different types of lignin functional groups, elucidating the chemical basis for the synergistic effects. 31P NMR further revealed that laccase treatment had the most significant impact for degrading the abundant chemical groups. The results were further confirmed by the molecular weight analysis and lignin quantification by the Prussian blue assay. The cell–laccase fermentationmore » led to a 17-fold increase of lipid production. Overall, the study indicated that laccase and R. opacus can synergize to degrade lignin efficiently, likely through rapid utilization of monomers generated by laccase to promote the reaction toward depolymerization. The study provided a potential path for more efficient lignin conversion and development of consolidated lignin conversion.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [4];  [5]
  1. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  5. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States); Cleamol LLC, College Station, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1265874
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1376572
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; EE0006112
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Green Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1463-9262
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Zhao, Cheng, Xie, Shangxian, Pu, Yunqiao, Zhang, Rui, Huang, Fang, Ragauskas, Arthur J., and Yuan, Joshua S. Synergistic enzymatic and microbial lignin conversion. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1039/C5GC01955A.
Zhao, Cheng, Xie, Shangxian, Pu, Yunqiao, Zhang, Rui, Huang, Fang, Ragauskas, Arthur J., & Yuan, Joshua S. Synergistic enzymatic and microbial lignin conversion. United States. doi:10.1039/C5GC01955A.
Zhao, Cheng, Xie, Shangxian, Pu, Yunqiao, Zhang, Rui, Huang, Fang, Ragauskas, Arthur J., and Yuan, Joshua S. Fri . "Synergistic enzymatic and microbial lignin conversion". United States. doi:10.1039/C5GC01955A. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1265874.
@article{osti_1265874,
title = {Synergistic enzymatic and microbial lignin conversion},
author = {Zhao, Cheng and Xie, Shangxian and Pu, Yunqiao and Zhang, Rui and Huang, Fang and Ragauskas, Arthur J. and Yuan, Joshua S.},
abstractNote = {We represent the utilization of lignin for fungible fuels and chemicals and it's one of the most imminent challenges in modern biorefineries. However, bioconversion of lignin is highly challenging due to its recalcitrant nature as a phenolic heteropolymer. This study addressed the challenges by revealing the chemical and biological mechanisms for synergistic lignin degradation by a bacterial and enzymatic system, which significantly improved lignin consumption, cell growth and lipid yield. The Rhodococcus opacus cell growth increased exponentially in response to the level of laccase treatment, indicating the synergy between laccase and bacterial cells in lignin degradation. Other treatments like iron and hydrogen peroxide showed limited impact on cell growth. Chemical analysis of lignin under various treatments further confirmed the synergy between laccase and cells at the chemical level. 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) suggested that laccase, R. opacus cell and Fenton reaction reagents promoted the degradation of different types of lignin functional groups, elucidating the chemical basis for the synergistic effects. 31P NMR further revealed that laccase treatment had the most significant impact for degrading the abundant chemical groups. The results were further confirmed by the molecular weight analysis and lignin quantification by the Prussian blue assay. The cell–laccase fermentation led to a 17-fold increase of lipid production. Overall, the study indicated that laccase and R. opacus can synergize to degrade lignin efficiently, likely through rapid utilization of monomers generated by laccase to promote the reaction toward depolymerization. The study provided a potential path for more efficient lignin conversion and development of consolidated lignin conversion.},
doi = {10.1039/C5GC01955A},
journal = {Green Chemistry},
number = 5,
volume = 18,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 25 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

The Path Forward for Biofuels and Biomaterials
journal, January 2006

  • Ragauskas, Arthur J.; Williams, Charlotte K.; Davison, Brian H.
  • Science, Vol. 311, Issue 5760, p. 484-489
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.1114736

Lignin Biosynthesis
journal, June 2003


Lignin Valorization: Improving Lignin Processing in the Biorefinery
journal, May 2014

  • Ragauskas, A. J.; Beckham, G. T.; Biddy, M. J.
  • Science, Vol. 344, Issue 6185, p. 1246843-1246843
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.1246843

Plant systems biology comes of age
journal, April 2008


Exploration of Natural Biomass Utilization Systems (NBUS) for advanced biofuel—from systems biology to synthetic design
journal, June 2014


Simultaneous conversion of all cell wall components by an oleaginous fungus without chemi-physical pretreatment
journal, January 2015

  • Xie, Shangxian; Qin, Xing; Cheng, Yanbing
  • Green Chemistry, Vol. 17, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1039/C4GC01529K

Lignin to lipid bioconversion by oleaginous Rhodococci
journal, January 2013

  • Kosa, Matyas; Ragauskas, Arthur J.
  • Green Chemistry, Vol. 15, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1039/c3gc40434j

Bioconversion of oxygen-pretreated Kraft lignin to microbial lipid with oleaginous Rhodococcus opacus DSM 1069
journal, January 2015

  • Wei, Zhen; Zeng, Guangming; Huang, Fang
  • Green Chemistry, Vol. 17, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00422E

Bioconversion of lignin model compounds with oleaginous Rhodococci
journal, December 2011


Bioconversion of lignocellulosic pretreatment effluent via oleaginous Rhodococcus opacus DSM 1069
journal, January 2015


Lignins: Natural polymers from oxidative coupling of 4-hydroxyphenyl- propanoids
journal, January 2004


The Paleozoic Origin of Enzymatic Lignin Decomposition Reconstructed from 31 Fungal Genomes
journal, June 2012


High-cell-density batch fermentation of Rhodococcus opacus PD630 using a high glucose concentration for triacylglycerol production
journal, June 2010


Analysis of total phenols using the Prussian Blue method
journal, November 1980

  • Budini, Rolando; Tonelli, Domenica; Girotti, Stefano
  • Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 28, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1021/jf60232a056

Lignin monomer composition affects Arabidopsis cell-wall degradability after liquid hot water pretreatment
journal, January 2010

  • Li, Xu; Ximenes, Eduardo; Kim, Youngmi
  • Biotechnology for Biofuels, Vol. 3, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1186/1754-6834-3-27

Application of quantitative 31P NMR in biomass lignin and biofuel precursors characterization
journal, January 2011

  • Pu, Yunqiao; Cao, Shilin; Ragauskas, Arthur J.
  • Energy & Environmental Science, Vol. 4, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1039/c1ee01201k

Chemical transformations of Populus trichocarpa during dilute acid pretreatment
journal, January 2012

  • Cao, Shilin; Pu, Yunqiao; Studer, Michael
  • RSC Advances, Vol. 2, Issue 29
  • DOI: 10.1039/c2ra22045h

Symbiotic digestion of lignocellulose in termite guts
journal, February 2014


Comparative Transcriptome and Secretome Analysis of Wood Decay Fungi Postia placenta and Phanerochaete chrysosporium
journal, April 2010

  • Vanden Wymelenberg, A.; Gaskell, J.; Mozuch, M.
  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 76, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00058-10

Genome, transcriptome, and secretome analysis of wood decay fungus Postia placenta supports unique mechanisms of lignocellulose conversion
journal, February 2009

  • Martinez, Diego; Challacombe, Jean; Morgenstern, Ingo
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0809575106

NMR Characterization of Pyrolysis Oils from Kraft Lignin
journal, May 2011

  • Ben, Haoxi; Ragauskas, Arthur J.
  • Energy & Fuels, Vol. 25, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1021/ef2001162

Enzymatic modification of kraft lignin through oxidative coupling with water-soluble phenols
journal, June 2001

  • Lund, M.; Ragauskas, A. J.
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol. 55, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1007/s002530000561

Investigation of the photo-oxidative chemistry of acetylated softwood lignin
journal, April 2004


Structural analysis for lignin characteristics in biomass straw
journal, October 2013


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Discovery of potential pathways for biological conversion of poplar wood into lipids by co-fermentation of Rhodococci strains
    journal, March 2019


    Bacterial conversion of depolymerized Kraft lignin
    journal, March 2019

    • Ravi, Krithika; Abdelaziz, Omar Y.; Nöbel, Matthias
    • Biotechnology for Biofuels, Vol. 12, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1186/s13068-019-1397-8

    Promoting microbial utilization of phenolic substrates from bio-oil
    journal, July 2019

    • Davis, Kirsten; Rover, Marjorie R.; Salvachúa, Davinia
    • Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, Vol. 46, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1007/s10295-019-02208-z

    Combinatorial pretreatment and fermentation optimization enabled a record yield on lignin bioconversion
    journal, January 2018