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Preparation of high molecular weight pH-responsive lignin-polyethylene glycol (L-PEG) and its application in enzymatic saccharification of lignocelluloses

  • Cheng Cai
  • Yu Bao
  • Yu Jin
  • Feiyun Li
  • Yuxia PangEmail author
  • Hongming LouEmail author
  • Yong Qian
  • Xueqing Qiu
Original Research


Highly recyclable pH-responsive lignin-polyethylene glycol (L-PEG) was synthesized to achieve enhanced lignocellulosic hydrolysis and recycling cellulase. The performance of L-PEG could be easily regulated by adjusting the molecular weight and the amount of PEG. The large molecular weight facilitated L-PEG to reduce the invalid adsorption of cellulase on lignin during hydrolysis and enhance its flocculation effect at around pH 3.0. L-PEG1000-40 obtained by adding 40 wt% (based on lignin) PEG1000 could effectively enhance the enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocelluloses and recover most of cellulase after hydrolysis through simply adjusting the pH of hydrolysate. During eucalyptus hydrolysis, using L-PEG1000-40 to recycle cellulase could not only save 40% cellulase, but also increase the glucose yield by 121%. Due to the low synthesis cost of L-PEG and the simple and convenient recovery operation, this new method is beneficial to the improvement of lignocellulosic saccharification process and the high-value utilization of lignin.

Graphic abstract


Lignin-PEG PH-responsive Lignocellulose Cellulase Recycle Recyclable 



The authors acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21676109, 21878112), National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFB1501701), Guangdong Special Support Plan (2016TX03Z298) and Science and Technology Program of Guangdong (2017B090903003).

Supplementary material

10570_2019_2800_MOESM1_ESM.docx (4.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 4744 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Guangdong Provincial Engineering Research Center for Green Fine ChemicalsSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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