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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8568604, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8568604
Research Article

Structural Changes of Lignin after Liquid Hot Water Pretreatment and Its Effect on the Enzymatic Hydrolysis

1Key Laboratory of Renewable Energy and Guangdong Key Laboratory of New and Renewable Energy Research and Development, Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
2Collaborative Innovation Center of Biomass Energy, Zhengzhou 450002, China

Received 14 March 2016; Accepted 13 June 2016

Academic Editor: Encarnación Ruiz

Copyright © 2016 Wen Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

During liquid hot water (LHW) pretreatment, lignin is mostly retained in the pretreated biomass, and the changes in the chemical and structural characteristics of lignin should probably refer to re-/depolymerization, solubilization, or glass transition. The residual lignin could influence the effective enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose. The pure lignin was used to evaluate the effect of LHW process on its structural and chemical features. The surface morphology of LHW-treated lignin observed with the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was more porous and irregular than that of untreated lignin. Compared to the untreated lignin, the surface area, total pore volume, and average pore size of LHW-treated lignin tested with the Brunner-Emmet-Teller (BET) measurement were increased. FTIR analysis showed that the chemical structure of lignin was broken down in the LHW process. Additionally, the impact of untreated and treated lignin on the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose was also explored. The LHW-treated lignin had little impact on the cellulase adsorption and enzyme activities and somehow could improve the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose.