News International Sugar Journal

Researchers identify microbes that can convert lignin into biofuels and chemicals [Registered]

Researchers at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have demonstrated a concept that provides opportunities for the successful conversion of lignin into a variety of renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials. The process for converting glucose from biomass into fuels such as ethanol has been well established. However, plants also contain a significant amount of lignin – up to 30% of their cell walls. Lignin is a heterogeneous aromatic polymer that plants use to strengthen cell walls, but it is typically considered a hindrance to cost-effectively obtaining carbohydrates, and residual lignin is often burned for process heat because it…

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