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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2010 Sep;162(1):62-74. doi: 10.1007/s12010-009-8749-y. Epub 2009 Aug 24.

Structural characterization and comparison of switchgrass ball-milled lignin before and after dilute acid pretreatment.

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School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA.


To reduce the recalcitrance and enhance enzymatic activity, dilute H(2)SO(4) pretreatment was carried out on Alamo switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Ball-milled lignin was isolated from switchgrass before and after pretreatment. Its structure was characterized by (13)C, HSQC, and (31)P NMR spectroscopy. It was confirmed that ball-milled switchgrass lignin is of HGS type with a considerable amount of p-coumarate and felurate esters of lignin. The major ball-milled lignin interunit was the beta-O-4 linkage, and a minor amount of phenylcoumarin, resinol, and spirodienone units were also present. As a result of the acid pretreatment, there was 36% decrease of beta-O-4 linkage observed. In addition to these changes, the S/G ratio decreases from 0.80 to 0.53.

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