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Bioresour Technol. 2010 Nov;101(21):8211-6. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.05.080. Epub 2010 Jun 26.

Enzymatic grafting of simple phenols on flax and sisal pulp fibres using laccases.

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Textile and Paper Engineering Department, ETSEIAT, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Colom 11, E-08222 Terrassa, Spain.


Flax and sisal pulps were treated with two laccases (from Pycnoporus cinnabarinus, PcL and Trametes villosa, TvL, respectively), in the presence of different phenolic compounds (syringaldehyde, acetosyringone and p-coumaric acid in the case of flax pulp, and coniferaldehyde, sinapaldehyde, ferulic acid and sinapic acid in the case of sisal pulp). In most cases the enzymatic treatments resulted in increased kappa number of pulps suggesting the incorporation of the phenols into fibres. The covalent binding of these compounds to fibres was evidenced by the analysis of the treated pulps, after acetone extraction, by pyrolysis coupled with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in the absence and/or in the presence of tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) as methylating agent. The highest extents of phenol incorporation were observed with the p-hydroxycinnamic acids, p-coumaric and ferulic acids. The present work shows for the first time the use of analytical pyrolysis as an effective approach to study fibre functionalization by laccase-induced grafting of phenols.

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