LigArom project description
LIGAROM (LIGnin-based AROMatic Amino Acids):
Material utilization of biomass for the extraction of basic and fine chemical compounds.
This is intended to give greater emphasis to the material use of biomass, which has so far left the potential for obtaining aromatic basic and fine chemicals from lignin largely untapped.
Lignocellulose is the central renewable raw material as an educt for biorefineries. Numerous processes already exist for the utilization of the cellulose fraction for various downstream products (fuels, organic acids, solvents; indirectly via levulinic acid or HMF also for plastics and plasticizers). The utilization of the hemicellulose portion via furfural to further products (furan resins, nylon) is the subject of intensive research. In contrast, the lignin fraction is currently regarded more as a waste and interfering material which, on the one hand, makes it difficult to break down the lignocellulose and, on the other hand, is only used as an energy source (incineration) or, at best, as a building material via compression.
The phenylpropanes ("lignin monomers") contained in lignin can be combined with other low-cost (waste) materials to form reactants for chemoenzymatic synthesis of high-quality fine chemicals (e.g. aromatic amino acids) (e.g. cinnamic acid and urea via phenyl-dihydrouracil to form β-phenylalanine). The products can also be further processed into functional pharmaceutical peptides, biosurfactants (acyl peptides), and others.
1. isolation and/or synthesis of phenylpropane compounds from lignocellulose
2. further synthesis to substituted dihydropyrimidines
3. screening of enzymes for the sequential stereoselective hydrolysis of these compounds
4. characterization, stabilization and immobilization of the most suitable enzymes
5. set-up and modeling of a bioprocess to realize a (chemo-)enzymatic cascade reaction
6. development and application of analysis methods to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze all substrates, intermediates and products