Modified Hydrotropic Pretreatment of Eucalyptus under Alkali and Acid Conditions for Lignin Removal and Enhancing Enzymatic Hydrolysis

Chao Chao Xu, Hongyan Mou, Ming Lei, Jin Huang, Weiying Li, Hongquan Huang


Hydrotropic pretreatment is an environmentally friendly technology that can be applied for lignin isolation from lignocellulosic biomass to enhance enzymatic hydrolysis. In this study, conventional hydrotropic pretreatment was modified with additional alkali and acid to investigate the lignin removal mechanism. Lignin recovered from the hydrotropic solution was analyzed by Heteronuclear Single Quantum Coherence-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (HSQC-NMR). It was found that the amounts of β-O-4 linkages in the different types of hydrotropic lignin were more than 50%. Alkali-hydrotropic lignin particularly contained 74.9% of β-O-4 linkages. Also, the cleavage of α-O-4 formed more phenolic groups in alkali-hydrotropic lignin. The addition of acid in the hydrotropic treatment could reinforce the broken β-O-4 bond. Modified hydrotropic pretreatments more easily displaced the lignin from the fiber surface and improved the enzymatic accessibility of the pretreated substrates. Considering other impact factors including the fiber structure and total lignin content, enzymatic hydrolysis was heavily influenced and facilitated by the acid-hydrotropic method.


Alkali-hydrotropic pretreatment; Acid-hydrotropic pretreatment; Enzymatic hydrolysis; Hydrotropic lignin; HSQC-NMR

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