(651b) Optimization of Sequential Biomass Pretreatment Using Lignin-Modifying Enzymes and Ionic Liquids

Authors: 
Doane, M., University of Massachusetts - Lowell
Simmons, B. A., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Significant advances have been made toward the efficient conversion of biomass into biofuels and other valuable chemicals. One significant challenge that remains is in the deconstruction of lignin, a recalcitrant polymer that comprises 20% of the earth’s biosphere. Emerging pretreatment strategies for lignin catalysis include the use of lignin-modifying enzymes (LMEs) and ionic liquids. Investigations into optimizing these processes remain the subject of current research. Enzyme screening was conducted to determine the catalytic viability of several LMEs in breaking down model lignin compounds, and the results were analyzed using gel permeation chromatography. Experiments were then performed to evaluate the deconstruction of two feedstocks (sorghum and switchgrass) treated with with one of fourteen LMEs, both before and after either of two ionic liquids (cholinium lysinate and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate). Samples were evaluated using HPLC to define which aromatic compounds were produced, and a compositional analysis was conducted to determine the percent yield of sugars.