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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 67(11)

Can Lignin Wastes Originating From Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefineries Act as Radical Scavenging Agents?

Caroline Vanderghem A , Nicolas Jacquet A and Aurore Richel A B

A Unit of Biological and Industrial Chemistry, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege, Passage des Déportés 2, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium.
B Corresponding author. Email: a.richel@ulg.ac.be

Australian Journal of Chemistry 67(11) 1693-1699 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/CH14074
Submitted: 15 February 2014  Accepted: 13 March 2014   Published: 8 May 2014

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Lignin is a co-product from the biorefinery and paper industries. Its non-energetic valorisation remains a field of extensive research and development. In this perspective, this study was undertaken to evaluate the radical scavenging ability of selected herbaceous lignins. These lignins, extracted from either Miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus) or switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), were selected as benchmarks for this study based on their chemical structure and average molecular weight. These technical lignins, which are side-products in the bioethanol production process, displayed a moderate antioxidant activity as evaluated by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazil free radical scavenging test system. A correlation between the radical scavenging properties and the molecular features is proposed and discussed. Infrared spectroscopy was employed as a straightforward qualitative prediction tool for assessing the radical scavenging capacity.


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