Lignin: Properties and applications in biotechnology and bioenergy

Vishal V. Dawkar, Umesh U. Jadhav, Ashok D. Chougale, Sanjay P. Govindwar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Lignins are complex phenolic polymers occurring in higher plant tissues and are the second most abundant terrestrial polymer after cellulose. Due to their very complex structure, lignins are amorphous polymers with rather limited industrial use. One of the uses of lignin is production of biofuels. Fuels are generally those made from non-edible lignocellulosic biomass. These biofuels have some clear advantages. Plants can be bred for energy characteristics, and not for food, and a larger fraction of the plant can be converted to fuel. Lignocellulosic crops can be grown on poor quality land, requiring fewer fertilizers. There are substantial energy and environment benefits primarily due to greater biomass usability per unit of land area. Within the bioenergy sector, biotechnology, and in particular genetic engineering, has the potential to be applied to agricultural production - to optimize the productivity of biomass; to raise the ceiling of potential yield per hectare; to modify crops to enhance their conversion to fuels - and to the biomass conversion process, for example by developing more effective enzymes for the downstream processing of biofuels. It has become possible to process lignocellulose at high substrate levels and the enzyme performance has been improved. Also the cost of enzymes has been reduced. Genetic research into dedicated energy crops and manufacturing processes is still at an early stage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLignin
Subtitle of host publicationProperties and Applications in Biotechnology and Bioenergy
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781611229073
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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