Lignin for bioenergy & biomaterials
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Sustainable waste treatment and lignin development strategies targeted for biorefineries will benefit industry, consumers, and the environment. This dissertation demonstrates the feasibility of a novel biochemical pathway capable of converting sugars and lignin sourced from biorefinery waste streams into microbial oils suitable for biodiesel, cosmetic, and biopharmaceutical applications. This biochemical pathway also presents interesting avenues for the commercial production of higher-value intermediate metabolites such as catechol, protocatechuate, pyruvate, and succinate. Alternatively, this dissertation also demonstrates a unique polymerization strategy for lignin that can be adopted towards the production of green polymeric biomaterials. Overall, these strategies jointly present intriguing routes for lignin valorization.