Lignin from hydrothermally pretreated grass biomass retards enzymatic cellulose degradation by acting as a physical barrier rather than by inducing nonproductive adsorption of enzymes

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  • Demi T. Djajadi, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
  • ,
  • Mads M. Jensen
  • Marlene Oliveira, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
  • ,
  • Anders Jensen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Lisbeth G. Thygesen, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Manuel Pinelo, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
  • ,
  • Marianne Glasius
  • Henning Jørgensen, Center for BioProcess Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, KU, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Anne S. Meyer, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet

Background: Lignin is known to hinder efficient enzymatic conversion of lignocellulose in biorefining processes. In particular, nonproductive adsorption of cellulases onto lignin is considered a key mechanism to explain how lignin retards enzymatic cellulose conversion in extended reactions. Results: Lignin-rich residues (LRRs) were prepared via extensive enzymatic cellulose degradation of corn stover (Zea mays subsp. mays L.), Miscanthus × giganteus stalks (MS) and wheat straw (Triticum aestivum L.) (WS) samples that each had been hydrothermally pretreated at three severity factors (log R 0) of 3.65, 3.83 and 3.97. The LRRs had different residual carbohydrate levels - the highest in MS; the lowest in WS. The residual carbohydrate was not traceable at the surface of the LRRs particles by ATR-FTIR analysis. The chemical properties of the lignin in the LRRs varied across the three types of biomass, but monolignols composition was not affected by the severity factor. When pure cellulose was added to a mixture of LRRs and a commercial cellulolytic enzyme preparation, the rate and extent of glucose release were unaffected by the presence of LRRs regardless of biomass type and severity factor, despite adsorption of the enzymes to the LRRs. Since the surface of the LRRs particles were covered by lignin, the data suggest that the retardation of enzymatic cellulose degradation during extended reaction on lignocellulosic substrates is due to physical blockage of the access of enzymes to the cellulose caused by the gradual accumulation of lignin at the surface of the biomass particles rather than by nonproductive enzyme adsorption. Conclusions: The study suggests that lignin from hydrothermally pretreated grass biomass retards enzymatic cellulose degradation by acting as a physical barrier blocking the access of enzymes to cellulose rather than by inducing retardation through nonproductive adsorption of enzymes.

TidsskriftBiotechnology for Biofuels
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2 apr. 2018

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