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Investigation of AquaSolv Omni biorefinery reaction mechanism

Postdoctoral researcher Davide Rigo visited the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna to investigate the reaction mechanism of AquaSolv Omni (AqSO) biorefinery and further develop such biorefinery concept.

The visit has been focused on a diagnostic modifications of AqSO lignins/LCCs and model compounds followed by monitoring the outcome of the reactions with comprehensive NMR methods and advanced analytical methodologies, like HS-GCMS and SEC-MALLS to gain insights into the reactions which occur in AqSO biorefinery. More specifically, experiments were carried out starting from “native lignin” samples and lignin model compounds aiming at mimicking AqSO biorefinery process.

The first goal was to prove the formation of lignin carbohydrates bonds (LCCs) during AqSO process and while the second was to understand which lignin moieties were transformed and how.

In addition, further developments of AqSO biorefinery were studied. Novel procedures to simultaneously fractionate and modify lignin from woody biomass using heterogeneous catalysis have been successfully developed. 

The obtained findings will result in joint publications. Furthermore, the research visit paved the way for further collaboration between Prof. Antje Potthast's research group and FinnCERES community.


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