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Title: Characterization and analysis of the molecular weight of lignin for biorefining studies

The molecular weight of lignin is a fundamental property that infl uences the recalcitrance of biomass and the valorization of lignin. The determination of the molecular weight of lignin in native biomass is dependent on the bioresources used and the isolation and purifi cation procedures employed. The three most commonly employed isolation methods are milled wood lignin (MWL), cellulolytic enzyme lignin (CEL), and enzymatic mild acidolysis lignin (EMAL). Common characterization techniques for determining the molecular weight of lignin will be addressed, with an emphasis on gel permeation chromatography (GPC). This review also examines the mechanisms behind several biological, physical, and chemical pre-treatments and their impact on the molecular weight of lignin. The number average molecular weight (Mn), weight average molecular weight (Mw) and polydispersity index (D) all vary in magnitude depending on the biomass source, pre-treatment conditions, and isolation method. Additionally, there is a growing body of literature that supports changes in the molecular weight of lignin in response to genetic modifi cations in the lignin biosynthetic pathways. This review summarizes different procedures for obtaining the molecular weight of lignin that have been used in recent years and highlight future opportunities for applications of lignin.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA USA
  2. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge TN USA
  3. BioEnergy Science Center, Institute of Paper Science and Technology, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA USA
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining; Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 6
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
ORNL LDRD Director's R&D
Country of Publication:
United States