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Lignin Loss Mystery in Anaerobic System Resolved

Lignin Loss Mystery in Anaerobic System Resolved

Lignin fractions lost (30-70%) during anaerobic digestion of dicot leaf litter has been investigated with potential implications for biomethanation and bioethanol production. Five species of moderately lignified tree leaf species were anaerobically digested and the lignin loss pattern was studied. The pattern of loss showed that syringyl units were the predominant loss from primarily cell wall lignins during the early phase after which lignin of vascular bundles was attacked. FT-IR assays on the Klason lignin indicated even core lignin structures to be altered under prolonged anaerobic degradation and this is being reported for the first time. In all the species studied, lignin degradation was strongly influenced by the leaf area, wax layer and guaiacyl content.

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