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Journal Article

Multiscale analysis of lignocellulose recalcitrance towards OrganoCat pretreatment and fractionation


Leitner,  Walter
Research Department Leitner, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Max Planck Society;
Institut für Technische Chemie und Makromolekulare Chemie, Rheinisch‐Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Worringer Weg 1, 52074 Aachen, Germany;

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Weidener, D., Dama, M., Dietrich, S. K., Ohrem, B., Pauly, M., Leitner, W., et al. (2020). Multiscale analysis of lignocellulose recalcitrance towards OrganoCat pretreatment and fractionation. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 13(1): 155. doi:10.1186/s13068-020-01796-8.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-D508-0
Background Biomass recalcitrance towards pretreatment and further processing can be related to the compositional and structural features of the biomass. However, the exact role and relative importance to those structural attributes has still to be further evaluated. Herein, ten different types of biomass currently considered to be important raw materials for biorefineries were chosen to be processed by the recently developed, acid-catalyzed OrganoCat pretreatment to produce cellulose-enriched pulp, sugars, and lignin with different amounts and qualities. Using wet chemistry analysis and NMR spectroscopy, the generic factors of lignocellulose recalcitrance towards OrganoCat were determined. Results The different materials were processed applying different conditions (e.g., type of acid catalyst and temperature), and fractions with different qualities were obtained. Raw materials and products were characterized in terms of their compositional and structural features. For the first time, generic correlation coefficients were calculated between the measured chemical and structural features and the different OrganoCat product yields and qualities. Especially lignin-related factors displayed a detrimental role for enzymatic pulp hydrolysis, as well as sugar and lignin yield exhibiting inverse correlation coefficients. Hemicellulose appeared to have less impact, not being as detrimental as lignin factors, but xylan-O-acetylation was inversely correlated with product yield and qualities. Conclusion These results illustrate the role of generic features of lignocellulosic recalcitrance towards acidic pretreatments and fractionation, exemplified in the OrganoCat strategy. Discriminating between types of lignocellulosic biomass and highlighting important compositional variables, the improved understanding of how these parameters affect OrganoCat products will ameliorate bioeconomic concepts from agricultural production to chemical products. Herein, a methodological approach is proposed.