Browsing by Subject "VALORIZATION"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-3 of 3
  • Figueiredo, Patricia; Lahtinen, Maarit; Agustin, Melissa; Morais de Carvalho, Danila; Hirvonen, Sami-Pekka; Penttilä, Paavo A.; Mikkonen, Kirsi S. (2021)
    The production of lignin nanoparticles (LNPs) has emerged as a way to overcome the highly variable and complex molecular structure of lignin. It can offer morphological control of the lignin polymer, allowing the formation of stable LNP dispersions in aqueous media, while increasing the potential of lignin for high-value applications. However, the polydispersity and morphology of LNPs varies depending on the lignin grade and preparation method, and a systematic comparison using different technical lignins is lacking. In this study, it was attempted to find a green fabrication method with a distinct solvent fractionation of lignin to prepare LNPs using three different technical lignins as starting polymers: BLN birch lignin (hardwood, BB), alkali Protobind 1000 (grass, PB), and kraft LignoBoost (softwood, LB). For that, three anti-solvent precipitation approaches to prepare LNPs were systematically compared: 70 % aqueous ethanol, acetone/water (3 : 1) and NaOH as the lignin solvent, and water/aqueous HCl as the anti-solvent. Among all these methods, the acetone/water (3 : 1) approach allowed production of homogeneous and monodisperse LNPs with a negative surface charge and also spherical and smooth surfaces. Overall, the results revealed that the acetone/water (3 : 1) method was the most effective approach tested to obtain homogenous, small, and spherical LNPs from the three technical lignins. These LNPs exhibited an improved stability at different ionic strengths and a wider pH range compared to the other preparation methods, which can greatly increase their application in many fields, such as pharmaceutical and food sciences.
  • Agustin, Melissa; Penttilä, Paavo; Lahtinen, Maarit; Mikkonen, Kirsi S. (2019)
    The production of lignin nanoparticles (LNPs) has opened new routes to the utilization of lignin in advanced applications. The existing challenge, however, is to develop a production method that can easily be adapted on an industrial scale. In this study, we demonstrated a green and rapid method of preparing LNPs directly from a sulfur-free alkaline pulping liquor by combining acid precipitation and ultrasonication. The combined method produced spherical LNPs, with a hierarchical nanostructure and a highly negative surface charge, within only 5 min of sonication. The mild, rapid sonication was achieved by sonicating directly without prior drying of the acid-precipitated and dialyzed lignin. Optimization of the method revealed the potential for minimizing acid consumption, shortening the dialysis time, and processing directly the alkaline liquor with as much as 20 wt % lignin. The isolated LNPs were stable during storage for 180 days, at a pH range of 4–7, and in a dispersing medium below 0.1 M NaCl. The LNPs also displayed excellent emulsifying properties, stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions. Thus, this simple and energy-efficient method opens a sustainable, straightforward, and scalable route to the production of organic solvent-free LNPs, with high potential as interface stabilizers of multiphase systems in the food and medical industries.
  • Marinovic, Mila; Nousiainen, Paula; Dilokpimol, Adiphol; Kontro, Jussi; Moore, Robin; Sipilä, Jussi; de Vries, Ronald P.; Mäkelä, Miia R.; Hilden, Kristiina (2018)
    Production of value-added compounds from a renewable aromatic polymer, lignin, has proven to be challenging. Chemical procedures, involving harsh reaction conditions, are costly and often result in nonselective degradation of lignin linkages. Therefore, enzymatic catalysis with selective cleavage of lignin bonds provides a sustainable option for lignin valorization. In this study, we describe the first functionally characterized fungal intracellular beta-etherase from the wood-degrading white-rot basidiomycete Dichomitus squalens. This enzyme, Ds-GST1, from the glutathione-Stransferase superfamily selectively cleaved the beta-O-4 aryl ether bond of a dimeric lignin model compound in a glutathionedependent reaction. Ds-GST1 also demonstrated activity on polymeric synthetic lignin fractions, shown by a decrease in molecular weight distribution of the lactase -oxidized guaiacyl dehydrogenation polymer. In addition to a possible role of DsGST1 in intracellular catabolism of lignin-derived aromatic compounds, the cleavage of the most abundant linkages in lignin under mild reaction conditions makes this biocatalyst an attractive green alternative in biotechnological applications.