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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 509035, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/509035
Research Article

Fibrous Agricultural Biomass as a Potential Source for Bioconversion to Vanillic Acid

1School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 16 June 2014; Revised 4 September 2014; Accepted 4 September 2014; Published 15 September 2014

Academic Editor: Yulin Deng

Copyright © 2014 Pei-Ling Tang 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

This study was conducted to assess the potential of six fibrous agricultural residues, namely, oil palm empty fruit bunch fiber (OPEFBF), coconut coir fiber (CCF), pineapple peel (PP), pineapple crown leaves (PCL), kenaf bast fiber (KBF), and kenaf core fiber (KCF), as a source of ferulic acid and phenolic compounds for bioconversion into vanillic acid. The raw samples were pretreated with organosolv (NaOH-glycerol) and alkaline treatment (NaOH), to produce phenol-rich black liquor. The finding showed that the highest amount of phenolic compounds and ferulic acid was produced from CCF and PP, respectively. This study also found that organosolv treatment was the superior method for phenolic compound extraction, whereas alkaline treatment was the selective method for lignin extraction. Vanillic acid production by Aspergillus niger I-1472 was only observed when the fermentation broth was fed with liquors from PP and PCL, possibly due to the higher levels of ferulic acid in those samples.