Chemically Modified Lignin: Correlation between Structure and Biodegradability
  • Meifeng Wang1,2, Wubliker Dessie2, Hui Li1,*
1 Key Laboratory of Biomaterials of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Guangdong Provincial Engineering and Technological Research Center for Drug Carrier Development, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
2 Hunan Engineering Technology Research Center for Comprehensive Development and Utilization of Biomass Resources, Hunan University of Science and Engineering, Yongzhou, China
* Corresponding Author: Hui Li. Email:
(This article belongs to this Special Issue:Bio-based/Degradable Materials towards A Sustainable Future)
Received 28 March 2021; Accepted 06 May 2021 ; Published online 15 June 2021
Lignin is the most abundant heteropolymer based on aromatic subunits in nature. Large quantities of lignin are annually produced from pulping processes and biorefinery industries. Its unclearly defined structure and difficult biodegradation mainly limit its utilization. This work focused on the effect of hydroxylation of lignin on its microbial degradation. Butyloxy carbonyl-modified lignin, and hydroxylated-lignin were synthesized with di-tert-butyl dicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide, respectively, using lignin as raw material. The degradation of the modifiedlignins both by P. chrysosporium and B. subtilis were analyzed using UV-vis spectroscopy. Results revealed that the lignin degradation velocity raises with the increase hydroxylation level of lignin. Moreover, FTIR and 1H NMR analysis of the biodegradation products of lignin further indicated that higher content of hydroxyl groups in lignin facilitated the demethylation combined with the aromatic ring cracking in the presence of fungus and bacteria.
Lignin; modification; biodegradation; degradation mechanism