Biorefinery

Biorefinery, or the technology to transform cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and other biomass components into value-added materials, is attracting more and more attention for the development of sustainable and environment-friendly energy and other industries. Many cellulases and hemicellulases may be applied to readily hy-drolyze the carbohydrates to fermentable "platform" sugars, but the enzymes often encounter unproductive inhibition from lignin [219, 220]. The modification and/or degradation of lignin by laccases, which is suspected to be part of the natural microbial wood degradation, may mitigate the inhibition of the hydrolases.

Laccases may also be applied to degrade lignin-derived phenolics that are toxic to ethanogenic yeast for ethanol fermentation [221], or other microbes for other fine chemicals fermentations.

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