The internationally highly reputed journal "Biotechnology & Bioengineering" features our research on its May 2020 cover page. In the corresponding article that appears in this volume, we have assessed the life cycle of manufacturing adipic acid, one of the global key chemicals, from the renewable resource lignin.
Life-cycle assessment, or LCA, is an environmental accounting and management approach that considers all the aspects of resource use and environmental releases associated with an industrial system from cradle to grave. Regarding the study case, lignin is an abundant waste product of the cellulosic industry, which has promising potential of being transformed into green chemicals using microbial fermentation. In this study, we evaluated cascaded process, involving fast?pyrolysis process and fermentation of the generated monomer fractions, rich in aromatics. We could show - together with partners from the Energy Research Centre ECN (Netherlands), the ATB Leibnitz-Institute in Potsdam and Braunschweig University of Technology - that bio?based adipic acid from softwood lignins brings environmental benefits over the petrochemical procedure and is cost?effective at an industrial scale. In addition to previous widely recognized achievements from our research this newest piece of our lignin-based research displays an important finding to drive further development of this novel green route. The full article “Limited life cycle and cost assessment for the bioconversion of lignin?derived aromatics into adipic acid” is freely available on the website of the journal.
Featured cover image of the latest issue of Biotechnology and Bioengineering Journal