Project

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Sequential treatment of lignins by advanced chemical oxidation processes and nanobiocatalysis for the production of industrially relevant oligomers and monolignols.

English title Sequential treatment of lignins by advanced chemical oxidation processes and nanobiocatalysis for the production of industrially relevant oligomers and monolignols.
Applicant Corvini Philippe
Number 136686
Funding scheme NRP 66 Resource Wood
Research institution Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz Hochschule für Life Sciences Institut für Ecopreneurship
Institution of higher education University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (without UTE) - FHNW
Main discipline Environmental Research
Start/End 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2016
Approved amount 593'081.00
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Keywords (6)

Enzymatic treatment; Lignin; Hybrid sequential treatment; Membrane bioreactor; Immobilized enzymes; Acidic chemical oxidation

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Aufspaltung von Lignin zur Herstellung aromatischer Verbindungen Lignin, das zusammen mit der Cellulose den wichtigsten Bestandteil der verholzten pflanzlichen Gewebe darstellt, bietet ein grosses Potenzial für die Herstellung wertvoller Chemikalien. Aufgrund der Struktureigenschaften von Lignin verspricht die Kombination aus chemischen und biologischen Umwandlungsprozessen mehr Erfolg als die bisher verwendeten Verfahren.
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Lignin ist nach Cellulose die häufigste organische Verbindung der Erde und bietet sich aufgrund seiner chemischen Struktur als mögliche erneuerbare Ressource für die Herstellung von aromatischen Chemikalien an. Aufgrund seiner komplexen Struktur und grossen Festig-keit bringt die Umwandlung durch chemische Verfahren erst nach jahrzehntelanger Forschung Erfolge hervor. In der Natur wird Lignin durch Pilze mittels verschiedener extrazellulärer, d. h. durch Sekretion nach aussen gelangender Enzyme, aufgespaltet (depolymerisiert). Die Prozesskombination aus biologischen und chemischen Katalysatoren wird als eine besonders vielversprechende Strategie zur Verwertung von Lignin angesehen.

Ziel
Die Forschenden testen die Kombinationen der jeweils aufeinanderfolgenden chemischen und enzymatischen Behandlungen, um Lignin zu oxidieren.
Die chemische Behandlung als erster Prozessschritt wird hinsichtlich der Eigenschaften des resultierenden Restmaterials dahingehend optimiert, dass die anschliessende zweite Behandlung zu einer Erhöhung der Gesamtausbeute an phenolischen Produkten führt. Die zweite, enzymatische Behandlung erfolgt in einem Membranreaktor mit Hilfe von biokatalytischen Nanomaterialien. Ziel dieses Schritts ist die integrierte Fraktionierung der Depolymerisationsprodukte und ein erleichtertes Recycling der Biokatalysatoren. Aufgrund der Erkenntnisse aus den beiden Teilschritten beurteilen die Forschenden, welche Abfolge der beiden Behandlungsschritte zu einer maximalen Ausbeute an nützlichen Produkten führt.

Bedeutung
Die Resultate des Projekts könnten zur Entwicklung einer neuen Hybridtechnologie für Bioraffinerien beitragen, welche verholztes Pflanzenmaterial verwerten. Darüber hinaus sind neue Erkenntnisse über den enzymatischen Ligninabbau, über die chemische Lignin-Oxidation, über die Co-Immobilisierung von Enzymen, über die Synergien zwischen enzyma-tischer (biologischer) und chemischer Katalyse sowie über mögliche Produkte aus der Depolymerisierung von Lignin zu erwarten.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 25.01.2013

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Division de la lignine pour former des composés aromatiques La lignine, principal constituant, avec la cellulose, des tissus des plantes arborescentes, affiche un immense potentiel pour la fabrication de précieuses substances chimiques. Les propriétés structurelles de la lignine permettent un pronostic de réussite plus prometteur avec la combinaison de processus de transformation chimiques et biologiques qu’avec les processus utilisés à ce jour.
Lay summary

Contexte
Après la cellulose, la lignine est le composé organique le plus abondant sur terre. Sa structure chimique la désigne comme ressource renouvelable envisageable pour la fabrication de produits chimiques aromatiques. En raison de sa structure complexe et de sa grande solidité, ce n’est qu’au bout de décennies de recherche que la transformation par processus chimique a produit des résultats. A l’état naturel, la lignine est divisée (dépolymérisée) par des champignons à l’aide de différentes enzymes extracellulaires, accédant à l’extérieur par sécrétion. La combinaison de catalyseurs biologiques et chimiques est considérée comme une stratégie particulièrement prometteuse de valorisation de la lignine.

Objectif
Les chercheurs testent les combinaisons de traitements chimiques et enzymatiques successifs en vue d’oxyder la lignine. Le traitement chimique, comme première étape du processus, est optimisé en termes de propriétés du matériau résiduel produit (aromaticité, type de réticulation transversale, etc.) afin que le second traitement subséquent améliore le gain total en produits phénoliques. Le second traitement, enzymatique, s’opère dans un réacteur à membrane à l’aide de nanomatériaux biocatalytiques. Le but de cette étape est le fractionnement intégré des produits de dépolymérisation et un recyclage plus facile des biocatalyseurs. Sur la base des résultats des deux étapes partielles, les chercheurs déterminent la séquence la plus à même d’aboutir à un gain maximal de produits utiles.

Portée
Les résultats du projet pourraient contribuer au développement d’une nouvelle technologie hybride pour les bio-raffineries qui exploitent les matériaux de plantes ligneuses. Ils devraient également livrer de nouvelles informations sur la décomposition enzymatique de la lignine, l’oxydation chimique de la lignine, la co-immobilisation des enzymes, les synergies entre la catalyse enzymatique (biologique) et chimique ainsi que sur d’autres produits issus de la dépolymérisation de la lignine.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 25.01.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Breakdown of lignin for the production of aromatic compounds Lignin, which together with cellulose is the main ingredient of woody plant tissue, offers great potential for the production of valuable chemicals. Due to the structural properties of lignin, the combination of chemical and biological transformation processes promises greater success than the processes applied so far.
Lay summary

Background
After cellulose, lignin is the most common organic compound found on Earth and, due to its chemical structure, it may serve as a renewable resource for the production of aromatic chemicals. Due to its complex structure and great firmness, its transformation through chemical processes has only produced results after decades of research. In nature, lignin is broken down (depolymerised) by fungi through different extra-cellular enzymes, i.e. enzymes that reach the outside through secretion. The process combination of biological and chemical catalysts is regarded as a particularly promising strategy for exploiting lignin.

Aim
The researchers test the combinations of the successive chemical and enzymatic treatments for oxidating lignin. As an initial step in the process, the chemical treatment is optimised in view of the properties of the resulting residual material (aromaticity, type of cross-linking etc.) so that the subsequent second treatment results in an increase in the overall yield of phenolic products. The second enzymatic treatment is conducted in a membrane reactor with the help of biocatalytic nanomaterials. This step is aimed at integrated fractioning of the depolymerisation products and a simplified recycling of biocatalysts. Based on the knowledge gained from the first two process steps, the researchers estimate in what order the two treatment stages would result in the largest yield of useful products.

Significance
The results of the project could contribute to the development of a new hybrid technology for bio-refineries that utilise ligneous plant material. In addition, the researchers expect to gain new insights into the enzymatic breakdown of lignin, chemical lignin oxidation, co-immobilisation of enzymes, synergies between enzymatic (biological) and chemical catalysis, and products that could result from the depolymerisation of lignin.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 25.01.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Immobilization of defined laccase combinations for enhanced oxidation of phenolic contaminants.
Ammann Erik M, Gasser Christoph A, Hommes Gregor, Corvini Philippe F-X (2014), Immobilization of defined laccase combinations for enhanced oxidation of phenolic contaminants., in Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 98(3), 1397-1406.
Laccases to take on the challenge of emerging organic contaminants in wastewater
Gasser Christoph A., Ammann Erik M., Shahgaldian Patrick, Corvini Philippe F.-X. (2014), Laccases to take on the challenge of emerging organic contaminants in wastewater, in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 98(24), 9931-9952.
Advanced enzymatic elimination of phenolic contaminants in wastewater: a nano approach at field scale.
Gasser Christoph A, Yu Liang, Svojitka Jan, Wintgens Thomas, Ammann Erik M, Shahgaldian Patrick, Corvini Philippe F-X, Hommes Gregor (2013), Advanced enzymatic elimination of phenolic contaminants in wastewater: a nano approach at field scale., in Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 98(7), 3305-3316.
Nanobiocatalytic Depolymerization of Lignin for the Production of Platform Phenolic Chemicals
9. Gasser CA Mucha M Wintgens T Shahgaldian P Corvini PF-X (2013), Nanobiocatalytic Depolymerization of Lignin for the Production of Platform Phenolic Chemicals, in Chimia, 67, 648-649.
Determination of oxidoreductase activity using a high throughput microplate respiratory measurement
Hommes G. Gasser C.A. Ammann E.M. Corvini P.F.-X (2012), Determination of oxidoreductase activity using a high throughput microplate respiratory measurement, in Analytical Chemistry, 85(1), 283-291.
Multi-catalysis reactions: New prospects and challenges of biotechnology to valorize lignin.
Gasser CA Hommes G Schäffer A and Corvini PFX (2012), Multi-catalysis reactions: New prospects and challenges of biotechnology to valorize lignin., in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 95, 1115-1134.
Production of superparamagnetic nanobiocatalysts for green chemistry applications
Gasser Christoph A., Ammann Erik M., Schäffer Andreas, Shahgaldian Patrick, Corvini Philippe F.-X., Production of superparamagnetic nanobiocatalysts for green chemistry applications, in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
ETH Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
VTT Finland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Fourth International Conference on Lignocellulosic Ethanol Talk given at a conference Bio-catalytic lignin depolymerization for the production of value-added chemicals 23.09.2014 Landshut, Germany Corvini Philippe; Gasser Christoph;
16th International Biotechnology Symposium and Exhibition Talk given at a conference Bio-catalytic lignin depolymerization for the production of value-added chemicals 14.09.2014 Fortaleza, Brazil Corvini Philippe; Gasser Christoph;
Lignin 2014 - biosynthesis and utilization Talk given at a conference Bio-catalytic lignin depolymerization for the production of value-added chemicals 24.08.2014 Umeå, Sweden Gasser Christoph; Corvini Philippe;
Ecochem Talk given at a conference Nanoparticle-enzyme conjugates for environmental and green chemistry applications 21.11.2013 Basel, Switzerland Gasser Christoph; Corvini Philippe;
IWA Micropol and Ecohazard Conference Talk given at a conference Removal of micro-pollutants with laccase-conjugated nanoparticles in wastewater treatment 17.06.2013 Zürich, Switzerland Gasser Christoph; Corvini Philippe;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
i-net Cleantech Technology Event «Biotechnological use of untapped biomass for the future bioeconomy of Switzerland» Talk 21.04.2015 Muttenz, Switzerland cvancarova monika; Gasser Christoph; Corvini Philippe;
Statusseminar of the Swiss Wood Innovation Network S-WIN Talk 24.04.2013 Villigen, Switzerland Gasser Christoph; Corvini Philippe;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Talk at i-net Technology Event German-speaking Switzerland 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions 16th International Biotechnology Symposium and Exhibition, September 2014, Fortaleza. International 2014
Talks/events/exhibitions Fourth International Conference on Lignocellulosic Ethanol, September 2014, Landshut. German-speaking Switzerland 2014
Talks/events/exhibitions Lignin 2014 - biosynthesis and utilization, August 2014, Umeå. International 2014
Talks/events/exhibitions Talk at "HLS Forschungsevent" German-speaking Switzerland 2014
Talks/events/exhibitions 8th IWA Micropol and Ecohazard Conference, June 2013, Zürich. International 2013
Talks/events/exhibitions Talk at ILMAC International 2013

Awards

Title Year
Clariant CleanTech Award 2014
SCG FH-Award in the category Chemistry and the Environment 2013

Abstract

Lignin is considered as a biowaste of the pulping industry, which is insufficiently exploited in spite of its attractive chemical composition for industrials facing the rarefaction of phenolics coming from the petro-chemical industry. The present project aims at setting the basis for the development of a technology for the production of value-added oligomers and phenolic derivates (monolignols, vanillin and methyl vanillate) from organosolv and hydrolysis lignins, which can be integrated as a "block" of the biorefinery process applied in the valorisation chain of the resource “Wood”.The proposed hybrid technology is a sequential depolymerisation treatment of organosolv and hydrolysis lignins based on acidic chemical oxidation in combination with enzymatic reactions catalyzed by lignin modifying enzymes in order to produce valuable chemicals for an industrial partner (Huntsman Advanced Materials), which can be involved at a later stage in a CTI project with the applicants.The sub-objectives of the project are:1.The further development of a chemical oxidation treatment step with regard to the yield of phenolic products as well as to the nature of the remaining lignin material for a subse-quent enzymatic treatment2.The development of a enzymatic treatment using biocatalytic nanomaterial in a mem-brane reactor, enabling an integrated fractionation of the depolymerisation products and a facilitated recycling of the biocatalysts3.The assessment of the best treatment step sequence for the maximal recovery of valuable compounds
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