Utilizing Lignin in Biofuels - Montana State University

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Feb 22, 2013 (4 years and 3 months ago)

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Utilizing Lignin for
Biofuel

Production

Zach Krehlik


Biofuel


Components of Cells


Lignin


White Rot Fungi

Overview

Biofuel

Fermentation


Conversion of biological matter to
combustible fuels


Two Major Reactions


Hydrolysis


Biomass is converted to glucose


Fermentation


C
6
H
12
O
6



2 CO
2

+ 2
CH
3
CH
2
OH


Yeast fermentation produces 15% ethanol, which can
be purified to 95%

Biofuel

Sources

Corn

Soybeans

Coconut oil

Jatropha

Catfish oil

Cheese scraps

Algae


Most of these are
not very realistic
sources

Biofuel

Sources

Industrial Products


Utilizes pulp, wood chips, and other otherwise useless
by products


Requires time consuming intermediate steps


Cell Wall Composition


Cellulose

35
-
50%


Xylan

20
-
35%


Lignin

10
-
25%


Proteins

1
-
5%


Lignin


Complex structure


Not a polymer made of one simple monomer


More similar to


proteins


Variable structure


If not utilized, a


significant amount of


cellular carbon is


wasted

Lignin

+ ????


Lignin Modification


Acid Treatment


Time consuming and not very cost efficient


White Rot Fungi


One of the few organisms known to process lignin


Multiple enzymes have been isolated


Transgenic yeasts


Combination

White Rot Fungi


White Rot Fungi


Ceriporiopsis

subvermispora
,
Dichomitus

squalens
,
Pleurotus

ostreatus
,
Coriolus

versicolor


3 methods of lignin degradation by white rot fungi


Lignin
Peroxidase


Highly reactive


Manganese
Peroxidase


Highly reactive


Laccase


Initiates depolarization


Low substrate specificity


allows it to break down


the highly variable molecule

White Rot Fungi


Acid Pretreatments take up to 6 weeks


White Rot converts it in a few days


The wood chips are then separated from the
fungi and exposed to the fermentation yeasts


Wood chips treated with White Rot have yielded
up to 160% the ethanol as the chips not
pretreated

White Rot Fungi Treatment

Weight and component loss
of beech wood chips after
exposure to White Rot
Fungi.


Lignin degradation was
increased by over 20%

White Rot Fungi Treatment




A cooperative study across multiple
universities in Japan have been using
transgenic yeast strains to efficiently break
down cellular components.


Their actual lignin conversion is 93% of the
theoretical!

The Future of Lignin Degradation


Transgenic yeasts combined with a less time
consuming chemical process will likely be
utilized commonly on a large scale



Questions?


Sources


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