Lignin Analysis


Aspen from py-MBMS

Analytical services at CCRC offer combination of following chemical and instrumental analysis for profiling lignocellulosic biomass and pretreated biomass:

Pyrolysis Molecular Beam Mass Spectroscopy (py-MBMS) and Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (py-GCMS) – The Complex Carbohydrate Research Center has installed a pyrolysis molecular beam mass spectrometer (py-MBMS) and a pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometer (py-GCMS) for analysis of plant cell wall constituents and lignin structure.

We will be using py-MBMS to analyze the lignin and C5 and C6 glycosyl compositions in the plant cell wall. The instrument consists of a commercially available pyrolysis unit and autosampler coupled with a molecular beam mass spectrometer. Total lignin content, p-hydroxyphenyl (H), syringyl to guaiacol (S/G/H) ratios can be estimated directly from the spectra. Thus, we can easily identify the plants with different cell wall composition in a large group of samples using multivariate analysis. The py-MBMS will produce a figure-printing method to analyze lignin monomers without a need to fully interpret the mass spectrum. The computer-assisted software (Chemometrics) will be used to assist in data mining and classification of the samples.

Lignin Analysis Graph

Aspen from py-GCMS

The py-GCMS consists of a commercially available pyrolysis unit and autosampler coupled with gas chromatography mass spectrometer, and it will be used to analyze/characterize the structure of the lignin in plant cell walls in more detail. Comparing the peaks for the same sample from py-MBMS and py-GCMS, we would be able to understand lignin structure more efficiently.