News International Sugar Journal

Discovery of lignin-degrading enzyme in bacteria could boost biofuel production [Registered]

To date, pretreatment technologies have mainly focussed on releasing sugars from cellulose and hemicellulose components of lignocellulosic feedstocks for biofuels production. The byproduct lignin has either been used as fuel to fire biomass boilers or in some cases, purified to yield a valuable chemical. Researchers at Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have discovered an enzyme (lignin peroxidase) that breaks down lignin. The findings are reported in 14 June issue of Biochemisty. Lignin is important in making plants sturdy and rigid but, because it is difficult to break down, it makes extracting the energy-rich sugars used to produce biofuels…

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