Special Issue "Properties, Applications and Perspectives of Lignin"
A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2019
Dr. Paolo Zucca
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Università di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
Interests: catalytic degradation of organic pollutants; biochemical characterization of plant extracts
Lignin is among the most abundant organic substances, and is produced by vascular plants. It is an irregular aliphatic–aromatic heteropolymer based on C6C3 monomeric units. Arising from radical chain reactions, its hydrolysis to afford such monomeric units is quite a difficult task, whereas its highly cross-linked nature makes it almost insoluble in the common solvents, unless it is more or less deeply altered in its native structure.
Therefore, lignin biosynthesis deserves attention in order to elucidate the exact mechanism(s) by which plants build this robust structural polymer, and to intervene by means of genetic engineering tools to modulate its physico-chemical and mechanical properties. This could open the way towards tailor-made lignins (and consequently, woods) whose features could be pre-determined to optimize the required performances once the timber has to be utilized.
For the pulp and paper industry, lignin should be removed to leave cellulose fibers. However, the various processes that are currently available are still awaiting a full optimization, in terms of both efficiency and environmental impact: huge amounts of aggressive reagents are required, together with harsh and energy-consuming treatments, and produce enormous quantities of high-impact wastes.
Biological (mainly enzymatic) and biomimetic treatments are promising but far from showing a reasonable efficiency, so they require further deep studies to substantially move ahead.
This Special Issue welcomes experimental studies and reviews describing new insights and/or encompassing the state-of-the-art in the fields of lignin biosynthesis and its regulation/modulation, improvements of delignification treatments (both chemical and biological/biomimetic), and new frontiers in lignin utilization—possibly after suitable modification—as a biomaterial and/or as a promising source of derived chemicals.
Dr. Enrico Sanjust
Dr. Paolo Zucca
Manuscript Submission Information
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- lignin biosynthesis
- chemicals from lignin
- lignin-based materials