Advanced Chemical Design for Efficient Lignin Bioconversion Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 American Chemical Society. Lignin depolymerization mainly involves redox reactions relying on the effective electron transfer. Even though electron mediators were previously used for delignification of paper pulp, no study has established a bioprocess to fragment and solubilize the lignin with an effective laccase-mediator system, in particular, for subsequent microbial bioconversion. Efficient lignin depolymerization was achieved by screening proper electron mediators with laccase to attain a nearly 6-fold increase of kraft lignin solubility compared to the control kraft lignin without laccase treatment. Chemical analysis suggested the release of a low molecular weight fraction of kraft lignin into the solution phase. Moreover, NMR analysis revealed that an efficient enzyme-mediator system can promote the lignin degradation. More importantly, the fundamental mechanisms guided the development of an efficient lignin bioconversion process, where solubilized lignin from laccase-HBT treatment served as a superior substrate for bioconversion by Rhodococcus opacus PD630. The cell growth was increased by 106 fold, and the lipid titer reached 1.02 g/L. Overall, the study has manifested that an efficient enzyme-mediator-microbial system can be exploited to establish a bioprocess to solubilize lignin, cleave lignin linkages, modify the structure, and produce substrates amenable to bioconversion.

published proceedings

  • ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Xie, S., Sun, Q., Pu, Y., Lin, F., Sun, S. u., Wang, X., Ragauskas, A. J., & Yuan, J. S.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Xie, Shangxian||Sun, Qining||Pu, Yunqiao||Lin, Furong||Sun, Su||Wang, Xin||Ragauskas, Arthur J||Yuan, Joshua S

publication date

  • March 2017