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Assessment of Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of Lignin from Corn Stover Residue Pretreated with Low-Moisture Anhydrous Ammonia and Enzymatic Hydrolysis Process

Guo, Mingming, Jin, Tony, Nghiem, NhuanP., Fan, Xuetong, Qi, PhoebeX., Jang, ChanHo, Shao, Lingxiao, Wu, Changqing
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 2018 v.184 no.1 pp. 350-365
Listeria innocua, anhydrous ammonia, antimicrobial properties, antioxidants, biomass, biorefining, cell proliferation, coproducts, corn stover, economic sustainability, endo-1,4-beta-glucanase, enzymatic hydrolysis, ethanol production, fuel production, hydrophilicity, lignin, liquids, oxygen radical absorbance capacity, sodium hydroxide, temperature, toxicity, value added
Lignin accounts for 15–35% of dry biomass materials. Therefore, developing value-added co-products from lignin residues is increasingly important to improve the economic viability of biofuel production from biomass resources. The main objective of this work was to study the lignin extracts from corn stover residue obtained from a new and improved process for bioethanol production. Extraction conditions that favored high lignin yield were optimized, and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the resulting lignin were investigated. Potential estrogenic toxicity of lignin extracts was also evaluated. The corn stover was pretreated by low-moisture anhydrous ammonia (LMAA) and then subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis using cellulase and hemicellulase. The residues were then added with sodium hydroxide and extracted for different temperatures and times for enhancing lignin yield and the bioactivities. The optimal extraction conditions using 4% (w/v) sodium hydroxide were determined to be 50 °C, 120 min, and 1:8 (w:v), the ratio between corn stover solids and extracting liquid. Under the optimal condition, 33.92 g of lignin yield per 100 g of corn stover residue was obtained. Furthermore, the extracts produced using these conditions showed the highest antioxidant activity by the hydrophilic oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay. The extracts also displayed significant antimicrobial activities against Listeria innocua. Minimal estrogenic impacts were observed for all lignin extracts when tested using the MCF-7 cell proliferation assay. Thus, the lignin extracts could be used for antioxidant and antimicrobial applications, and improve the value of the co-products from the biomass-based biorefinery.