Products from lignocellulose

Development of a process for the utilization both the carbohydrate and the lignin content from lignocellulosic materials of annual plants for the production of valuable products

Acronym: Products from lignocellulose

Results of Products from lignocellulose
Presentation (click here)

Project coordinator
- Prof. Christian Wilhelm - Saxon Institute for Applied Biotechnology
  at the Leipzig University - Germany
Project leaders
- Dr. Martina Bremer - Technische Universität Dresden - Germany
- Prof. Martin Bertau - University of Mining and Technology
  Freiberg - Germany
- Dr. Tarja Tamminen - VTT, Technical Research Centre Finland
- Prof. Mircea Ioan Popescu - Applied Biochemistry and
  Biotechnology Center - Romania
- Dr. Carmen  Boeriu (subcontractor) - Wageningen University -
  The Netherlands

The general aim of the project is the development of a process for the utilization of both the carbohydrate and the lignin content from lignocellulosic materials of annual plants, particularly wheat or maize straw. The investigations basically concern (i) the development of a pre-treatment process, which allows the separation of both the lignin and the carbohydrate content of lignocellulosic raw materials, (ii) the development of a fungal enzyme complex optimized for the saccharification of the carbohydrate content of lignocellulose in a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) process, (iii) investigations on the SSF-process, using model microorganism-strains for the production of platform chemicals, like fermentation alcohols, and (iv) the modification of the separated lignin for the production of fibre-reinforced biopolymers as well as for the production of fine chemicals.
Results from subproject i, ii and iii will be invaluable as the projects furthermore aims for investigating the performance of the SSF-process and the developed enzyme-complex not only at lab but also up to pilot scale.
For the planned investigations concerning the production of fibre-reinforced biopolymers on the basis of wheat straw lignin we are going to include expertises from the ERA-IB-project EIB.08.025 in which the utilization of kraft lignin for the production of fibre-reinforced biopolymers is investigated. Lignin-modifying enzymes and invaluable knowledge concerning reduction of VOC emissions in kraft lignin have already emerged from the latter project thus providing a strong basis for this new project.
Finally the resulting processes will be evaluated economically in order to show whether it is commercially viable. As the main risk for the commercial utilization of the project results are enzyme costs and the effectiveness of the pre-treatment process, special attention will be paid to these objectives.