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Issue 4, 2011
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Pseudo-lignin and pretreatment chemistry

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The formation of pseudo-lignin by the combination of carbohydrate and lignin degradation products has been proposed to be responsible for the increased Klason lignin content in biomass pretreated under acidic conditions. Direct evidence for the presence of pseudo-lignin has never been presented. The formation of additional lignin-like material may be detrimental to enzymatic hydrolysis due to the non-productive binding of enzymes with lignin. To investigate the chemistry of pseudo-lignin formation, dilute acid pretreatments were performed on delignified hybrid poplar biomass under conditions of varying severity. The results show a progressive increase in the Klason lignin content of the acid pretreated material with increasing pretreatment severity. NMR and FT-IR spectroscopic characterization shows the development of aliphatic, unsaturated and carbonyl carbon functionalities in the samples pretreated at higher severities. Given the very low Klason lignin content of the starting material, acid catalyzed dehydration of carbohydrates is responsible for the formation of pseudo-lignin.

Graphical abstract: Pseudo-lignin and pretreatment chemistry

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Aug 2010, accepted on 26 Nov 2010 and first published on 23 Dec 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00378F
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 1306-1310
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    Pseudo-lignin and pretreatment chemistry

    P. Sannigrahi, D. H. Kim, S. Jung and A. Ragauskas, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 1306
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00378F

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