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Title: Current understanding of the correlation of lignin structure with biomass recalcitrance

Lignin, a complex aromatic polymer in terrestrial plants, contributes significantly to biomass recalcitrance to microbial and/or enzymatic deconstruction. To reduce biomass recalcitrance, substantial endeavors have been exerted on pretreatment and lignin engineering in the past few decades. Lignin removal and/or alteration of lignin structure have been shown to result in reduced biomass recalcitrance with improved cell wall digestibility. While high lignin content is usually a barrier to a cost-efficient application of bioresources to biofuels, the direct correlation of lignin structure and its concomitant properties with biomass remains unclear due to the complexity of cell wall and lignin structure. Advancement in application of biorefinery to production of biofuels, chemicals, and bio-derived materials necessitates a fundamental understanding of the relationship of lignin structure and biomass recalcitrance. In this mini-review, we focus on recent investigations on the influence of lignin chemical properties on bioprocessability—pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass. Furthermore, lignin-enzyme interactions and the effects of lignin compositional units, hydroxycinnamates, and lignin functional groups on biomass recalcitrance have been highlighted, which will be useful not only in addressing biomass recalcitrance but also in deploying renewable lignocelluloses efficiently.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2296-2646
Frontiers Research Foundation
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Joint Institute for Biological Sciences (JIBS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; biomass recalctrance; lignin structure; cell wall; pretreatment; enzymatic hydrolysis
OSTI Identifier: