On Laccase-Catalyzed Polymerization of Biorefinery Lignin Fractions and Alignment of Lignin Nanoparticles on the Nanocellulose Surface via One-Pot Water-Phase Synthesis

Luyao Wang, Liping Tan, Liqiu Hu, Xiaoju Wang*, Rajesh Koppolu, Teija Tirri, Bas van Bochove, Petri Ihalainen, Liji Sobhana Seleenmary Sobhanadhas, Jukka V. Seppälä, Stefan Willför, Martti Toivakka, Chunlin Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Two series of well-defined lignin fractions derived from birch and spruce alkaline lignin (AL) by sequential solvent fractionation (i-PrOH-EtOH-MeOH) were engaged in a structure–property-application relationship study. The bacterial-derived alkaliphilic laccase (MetZyme) extensively catalyzed the oxidation and polymerization of AL fractions in an aqueous alkaline solution (pH 10). Lignin fractions with low molar mass reached a higher polymerization degree due to more phenolic-OH groups serving as reactive sites of oxidation and better lignin-laccase accessibility arose from a lower lignin condensation degree than the high molar mass ones. In comparison, AL fractions from spruce were found to be less reactive toward the laccase-catalyzed polymerization than those from birch, which was attributed to the much pronounced aryl-vinyl moieties’ oxidation. Furthermore, in situ polymerization of birch AL fractions using microfibrillated cellulose as a structural template was conducted in an aqueous medium and a dispersion of nanocellulose with its fiber network evenly coated by aligned lignin nanoparticles was obtained. The present study not only provides fundamental insights on the laccase-assisted oxidation and polymerization of lignin but also presents a new perspective for valorizing lignin in biobased fiber products through green processing of solvent fractionation and enzymatic treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8770-8782
Number of pages13
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Volume9
Issue number26
Early online date21 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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