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Ligninolytic degradation of lignin-based functional materials for resynthesis
Being the second most abundant natural polymer, lignin and its depolymerization as well as resynthesis has become a key research target to generate chemicals, biofuels, and polymers. Common depolymerization processes of lignin(-derived materials) utilize energy-intensive (high pressure/temperature) and harsh chemicals (NaOH, H2SO4). To overcome these issues, this project will explore a sustainable path to efficiently degrade lignin-based materials utilizing ligninolytic enzymes. In particular, the focus will be on elucidating the influence of the type of formulation (lignin blending vs. lignin functionalization) in lignin-derived polymer plastics as well as structure and design features on the efficiency of an enzyme-driven depolymerization process.
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