Enzymatic delignification of plant cell wall: from nature to mill
Lignin removal is a central issue in paper pulp manufacture, and production of other renewable chemicals, materials, and biofuels in future lignocellulose biorefineries. Biotechnology can contribute to more efficient and environmentally sound deconstruction of plant cell wall by providing tailor-made biocatalysts based on the oxidative enzymes responsible for lignin attack in Nature. With this purpose, the already-known ligninolytic oxidoreductases are being improved using (rational and random-based) protein engineering, and still unknown enzymes will be identified by the application of the different ‘omics’ technologies. Enzymatic delignification will be soon at the pulp mill (combined with pitch removal) and our understanding of the reactions produced will increase by using modern techniques for lignin analysis.
Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 20, Issue 3, June 2009, Pages 348–357