Characterization of Residual Lignin Obtained by the Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Pulps

Yin Ying H'ng, Akiko Nakagawa-Izumi, Cheu Peng Leh, Atanu Kumar Das, Hiroshi Ohi


Residual lignin present in alkali pulps prepared from oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) empty fruit bunch was isolated using an enzymatic method and characterized successfully by pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). These pulps were prepared by soda-anthraquinone (AQ) and prehydrolysis (PH) soda-AQ cooking methods (pulp yields were 45.3 and 33.9%, respectively). Py-GC/MS of the residual lignin showed that two pyrolysis products which were indole and methylindole originating from the enzyme (contents 12 to 44%), in addition to eight pyrolysis products originating from syringyl (S) and guaiacyl (G) structure of lignin. Furthermore, palmitic acid was also detected in the residual lignin (contents 0.11 to 0.28%). The residual lignin was subjected to further purification by a cellobiose treatment method, and the quantity of enzyme present in the residual lignin was found to decrease after the treatment. Residual lignin in PH-soda-AQ pulp exhibited a higher S/G ratio (0.86 to 0.98) than that in soda-AQ pulp (0.76 to 0.97). This study showed that the contents of lignin (19 to 44%) and enzyme in enzymatically isolated lignin can be estimated by the Py-GC/MS method.


Empty fruit bunch; Prehydrolysis soda-anthraquinone; Enzymatic hydrolysis; Cellobiose; Pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; Syringyl/guaiacyl ratio

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