Biosulphidogenic hydrolysis of lignin and lignin model compounds.

Madikane , Mzekelo (2002) Biosulphidogenic hydrolysis of lignin and lignin model compounds. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




Lignin degradation under biosulphidogenic conditions has not been extensively reported in the literature. Although aerobic degradation of lignin is well documented, anaerobic biodegradation has focused mainly on methanogenic systems with biosulphidogenic systems receiving less attention. Sulphate reducing bacteria are known to generate moderately high levels of both sulphide and alkalinity at room temperatures, and these conditions draw some comparison with the Kraft pulping process. In the Kraft pulping process, lignin is degraded chemically at ±170°C under high sulphide and alkaline conditions and may provide a model for understanding biosulphidogenic lignin degrading activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the biosulphidogenic hydrolysis of lignin within the context of the chemical and biological conditions generated by a mixed sulphate reducing bacteria consortia. Bioreactor studies with a mixed sulphate reducing consortia and pine wood powder (both untreated and depectinated) resulted in the generation of comparable levels of sulphide and alkalinity used in the chemical hydrolysis studies. Aromatic compound yields were between 20 to 50% of the chemical hydrolysis studies. This fluctuation may have been due to the utilization of these aromatic compounds as electron donors by the sulphate reducing consortia as evidenced by the high rate of sulphate reduction in both the untreated and depectinated wood bioreactors. Biodegradation of lignin model compounds was investigated in order to elucidate lignin degradation mechanisms. Both mono-aromatic and dimeric lignin model compounds were used as electron donors and carbon sources for the mixed sulphate reducing consortia. Biodegradation and mass spectrometer analysis of mono-aromatic compounds, ferulic acid and ferulic acid ethyl ester resulted in the production of intermediates such as catechol, cyclohexane carboxylic acid and adipic acid. These intermediates were also observed in the degradation of dimeric ferulic acid. Biodegradation of salicin resulted in the production of salicyl alcohol, ortho-cresol and acetate. Biodegradation of benzylic ether resulted in the production of vanillin and acetate as end products. The results of these studies provide evidence for a biosulphidogenic hydrolysis of lignin, and also the utilisation of lignin-derived aromatic compounds as electron donor sources, by a mixed sulphate reducing consortia

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Lignin, Biodegradation
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Biochemistry, Microbiology & Biotechnology
ID Code:2278
Deposited By: Madireng Monyela
Deposited On:01 Dec 2011 06:18
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
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