(70a) Strategies for Assessing and Improving Microbial Utilization of Lignin-Derived Monomers
- Conference: AIChE Annual Meeting
- Year: 2019
- Proceeding: 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting
- Group: Topical Conference: Innovations of Green Process Engineering for Sustainable Energy and Environment
- Time: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 8:00am-8:21am
The economic viability of the biorefinery concept is limited by the valorization of lignin. One possible method of lignin valorization is biological upgrading with aromatic-catabolic microbes. In conjunction, lignin monomers can be produced by fast pyrolysis and fractionation. However, biological upgrading of these lignin monomers is limited by low water-solubility. Here, we address the problem of low water-solubility with an emulsifier blend containing approximately 70 wt% Tween® 20 and 30 wt% Span® 80. Pseudomonas putida KT2440 grew to an optical density (OD600) of 1.0±0.2 when supplied with 1.6 wt% emulsified phenolic monomer-rich product produced by fast pyrolysis of red oak. The emulsifier dose was 0.076±0.002 g emulsifier blend per g of phenolic monomer-rich product. This approach partially mitigated the toxicity of the water-soluble model phenolic monomer p-coumarate to the microbe. This study provides a proof of concept that processing of biomass-derived phenolics to increase aqueous availability can enhance microbial utilization.