Spotlight: Formaldehyde stabilization facilitates lignin monomer production during biomass depolymerization
Published on:2017-01-09     Visits:1057

Formaldehyde protects and serves

The lignin found in plants is a desirable renewable feedstock for fuels and other useful compounds. Breaking down such a strong, energy-dense polymer, however, requires pretreatment of plant biomass under harsh conditions. These pretreatment steps often cause side reactions within the polymer itself, which lower the overall yields of lignin monomers. Shuai et al.used formaldehyde during pretreatment to block the reactive groups that lead to carbon-carbon linkages in lignin. This simple step stabilized lignin during pretreatment, resulting in dramatically improved yields.

Science, this issue p. 329

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