The effect of sulfonation of the a-carbon on model compounds representing phenolic end groups on lignin was studied with respect to the reactions initiated by oxidation of laccase, by mass spectrometry. Sulfonation seems to direct the reactions towards formation of 5-5'and 4-O-5'bonds, avoiding formation of 1-O-4' bonds and oxidation of the a-carbon. This, in turn, will facilitate cross-linking reactions between lignin molecules. Sulfonation therefore has potential as an industrial pretreatment prior to laccase treatment for various wood-containing materials.
- Mass spectrometry