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Detoxification ability of Rhodococcus sp. on the lignin-rich waste stream after steam-explosion (DARLignin).

During the thermochemical pretreatment biotechnological production of chemicals from the polysaccharides in lignocellulose, a solid fraction is obtained, consisting mainly of cellulose, and a lignin waste stream, the so-called, xylose rich fraction (XRF). XRF contains some residual sugar, toxic lignin-derived phenolic and sugar-derived furans. The goal of the research project is to investigate a technique to obtain almost complete removal of the lignin waste stream by using lipid producing bacteria, i.e., Rhodococcus sp. Rhodococcus is known to be able to metabolise phenol compounds. However to succeed, some hurdles have to be taken. (i) The furans and some phenolics can be toxic to the microorganism, (ii) repolymerisation of the lignin can occur (iii) the lignin is probably not completely converted, (iv) oligomers of lignin and lignin cellulose complexes can still be present, (v) it is not known if the Rhodococcus can degrade these oligomers. By analysis of the sugars, furans, phenolics, and the nature of the oligomers or particles, insight can be gained. Based on this knowledge, a toolbox of techniques to solve this will be applied, i.e. adaptation of the microorganism, commercial cellulases and laccases, alpha-naphtol to prevent repolymerisation of the lignin, using other bacteria, …. The present project focuses on the first part of this research, namely characterizing the xylose-containing waste stream and investigating the toxicity of the individual components for Rhodococcus.
Date:1 Apr 2019  →  30 Mar 2020
Disciplines:Environmental microorganism biotechnology, Biocatalysis and enzyme technology, Bioprocessing, bioproduction and bioproducts, Industrial microbiology