Identification and quantification of important steryl esters in aspen wood

  • Alessio N. Serreqi
  • Robert Leone
  • Luis F. Del Rio
  • Shirley Mei
  • Marc Fernandez
  • Colette BreuilEmail author


Steryl esters make up a major portion of the total lipids in aspen wood, and contribute significantly to pitch deposit problems during pulping. Fungal treatment of aspen is an attractive method for removing these compounds because it is inexpensive and environmentally acceptable; however, the mechanism of steryl ester removal remains unclear. Identification of the steryl esters will lead to a better understanding of how they are removed by fungi. The steryl ester fraction from aspen wood was obtained by acetone extraction then further purified by silica gel column chromatography and argentation-silica gel column chromatography. This led to the isolation of three major fractions: fraction I, fraction II, and fraction III. The major steryl esters of fractions I and II were identified by gas chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy, and proton nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of the intact fraction as well as sterol and fatty acid moieties obtained after base hydrolysis. Identification of the steryl esters was carried out by mass spectra comparisons with steryl ester standards synthesized in the laboratory and comparison with mass spectra libraries (Wiley and NIST) by mass fragmentography. Fraction I contained primarily the palmitate, stearate, and eicosanoate esters of α- and β-amyrin. Fraction II consisted mainly of the palmitate, stearate, and eicosanoate esters of tirucalla-7,24-dien-3β-ol and lupeol.

Key Words

Aspen argentation-silica gel chromatography gas chromatography gas chromatography-mass spectrometry pitch analysis Populus tremuloides Michx sterols steryl esters triterpenes 


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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessio N. Serreqi
    • 1
  • Robert Leone
    • 1
  • Luis F. Del Rio
    • 1
  • Shirley Mei
    • 1
  • Marc Fernandez
    • 1
  • Colette Breuil
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Wood Science, Faculty of ForestryUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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