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ENTITY: Enzymatic modification of lignin-carbohydrate hybrids

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Covalent cross-links between lignin and hemicelluloses in lignin-carbohydrate complexes (LCCs), restrict their separation in biomass fractionation. In material perspective, the LCCs are natural and biodegradable hybrid molecules having a block co-polymer type of structure, containing hydrophobic lignin domain interlinked with hydrophilic hemicellulose domain. The project ENTITY utilizes and studies enzymatic catalysis, versatile analytical methods and computational modelling to isolate, characterize and tailor the LCCs for material applications benefiting from the joint functional properties of polyphenolic and hemicellulosic domains of LCCs.

Main results

  • Enzymatic approach was adopted for fractionation of spruce wood analysis

  • Molecular modelling revealed that structure of lignin hemicellulose complexes can affect their interaction with water and cellulose

  • Testing of enzymatic treatments with spruce extracts ongoing

Related publications

  • Kellock, M., Rahikainen, J., Borisova, A. S., Voutilainen, S., Koivula, A., Kruus, K., & Marjamaa, K. (2022). Inhibitory effect of lignin on the hydrolysis of xylan by thermophilic and thermolabile GH11 xylanases. Biotechnology for Biofuels and Bioproducts, 15(1), [49].

  • Borisova, A. S., Pihlajaniemi, V., Kont, R., Niemelä, K., Koitto, T., Mikkelson, A., Väljamäe, P., Kruus, K., & Marjamaa, K. (2022). The effect of soluble phenolic compounds from hydrothermally pretreated wheat straw on Trichoderma reesei cellulases and commercial enzyme cocktails. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery.

Research Project Managers

Project status

Funded by FinnCERES in 2022.

Strongly related work has been continued in project Microscopy and machine learning in molecular characterization of lignocellulosic materials (MIMIC) funded by the Research Council of Finland. In addition, related modelling work dealing with adsorption on cellulose-based surfaces has been funded by Business Finland.


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