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Identification of benzoquinones in pretreated lignocellulosic feedstocks and inhibitory effects on yeast
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
2015 (English)In: AMB Express, ISSN 2191-0855, E-ISSN 2191-0855, Vol. 5, 62Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass under acidic conditions gives rise to by-products that inhibit fermenting microorganisms. An analytical procedure for identification of p-benzoquinone (BQ) and 2,6-dimethoxybenzoquinone (DMBQ) in pretreated biomass was developed, and the inhibitory effects of BQ and DMBQ on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae were assessed. The benzoquinones were analyzed using ultra-high performance liquid chromatographyelectrospray ionization-triple quadrupole-mass spectrometry after derivatization with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine. Pretreatment liquids examined with regard to the presence of BQ and DMBQ originated from six different lignocellulosic feedstocks covering agricultural residues, hardwood, and softwood, and were produced through impregnation with sulfuric acid or sulfur dioxide at varying pretreatment temperature (165-204 degrees C) and residence time (6-20 min). BQ was detected in all six pretreatment liquids in concentrations ranging up to 6 mg/l, while DMBQ was detected in four pretreatment liquids in concentrations ranging up to 0.5 mg/l. The result indicates that benzoquinones are ubiquitous as by-products of acid pretreatment of lignocellulose, regardless of feedstock and pretreatment conditions. Fermentation experiments with BQ and DMBQ covered the concentration ranges 2 mg/l to 1 g/l and 20 mg/l to 1 g/l, respectively. Even the lowest BQ concentration tested (2 mg/l) was strongly inhibitory to yeast, while 20 mg/l DMBQ gave a slight negative effect on ethanol formation. This work shows that benzoquinones should be regarded as potent and widespread inhibitors in lignocellulosic hydrolysates, and that they warrant attention besides more well-studied inhibitory substances, such as aliphatic carboxylic acids, phenols, and furan aldehydes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2015. Vol. 5, 62
Keyword [en]
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lignocellulosic hydrolysate, Fermentation inhibitor, p-Benzoquinone, 2, 6- methoxybenzoquinone, 2, 4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH), Mass spectrometry
National Category
Plant Biotechnology Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Microbiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109908DOI: 10.1186/s13568-015-0149-9ISI: 000361347400003PubMedID: 26384342OAI: diva2:860967
Available from: 2015-10-14 Created: 2015-10-09 Last updated: 2015-10-14Bibliographically approved

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Stagge, StefanCavka, AdnanJönsson, Leif J
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