Antioxidant, antibacterial and antitumoural activities of kraft lignin from hardwood fractionated by acid precipitation

Tainise Vergara Lourencon*, Gabriel G. de Lima, Carolina S. P. Ribeiro, Fabrício A. Hansel, Giselle M. Maciel, Krisle da Silva, Sheila M. B. Winnischofer, Graciela I. B. de Muniz, Washington L E Magalhães

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
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Kraft lignin, so far useful for energy generation, has been gathering considerable attention as an alternative material to replace fossil-based resources mainly due to its high phenolic content. However, the wide molecular weight distribution and chemical composition heterogeneity led to the development of fractionation methods. Herein, to narrow such characteristics we used eucalypt kraft lignin fractionated at pH's 9, 7, 5 and 3 by sequential acid precipitation. These lignin fractions were first characterised by simultaneous pyrolysis and trimethylsilylation (SPyT) with N-Methyl-N-(trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide with posterior tests of antioxidant, antibacterial, and antitumour activities. We observed higher ratio of syringyl/guaiacyl groups and increase in antioxidant activity in those fractions with lower molecular weight (precipitated at lower pH's). Fractions precipitated at pH's 9 and 7 have shown an outstanding antibacterial activity against five bacteria. Moreover, fractions 7 and 5 presented at cytotoxicity tests higher ability to inhibit the growth of U87MG and T98G glioma cells, while only a slight inhibition of adult human fibroblasts (non-tumour cells) was detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1542
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Early online date10 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • IC50
  • technical lignin
  • radical scavenging
  • antibacterial
  • antitumoural
  • hardwood lignin


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