Project 3:
Upgraded sugar streams from biomass

Main ideas and research focus for udgrading sugar streams

The upgraded sugar and lignin streams will be obtained by optimizing pretreatments in combination with enzymatic treatments, separation and purification techniques. Initially, the work will focus on wheat straw and sugar cane bagasse as biomasses, but other biomass types, including green biomasses may be considered later. Enzymatic hydrolysis will also be tested for polishing of potato protein and potato fibre processing and to be used in dewatering concepts. A part of the project will be on immobilized enzyme technologies for advanced sugar upgrading.


  1. To produce of a range of biomass monosaccharide streams (C5 and C6) and lignin streams of specified purities
  2. Test different pretreatments and investigate how these can be optimized to support the physical separation of sugars from lignin – to improve the purity of the sugar streams and obtain lignin with improved properties for biorefining
  3. Test enzyme immobilization for liquid catalysis and enzyme recycling
  4. To investigate dewatering concepts (reduced water binding capacity) relevant in several biorefining process steps
  5. To upgrade potato proteins and fibres

Publications in project 3:

Djajadi, D.T., Pihlajaniemi, V., Rahikainen, J., Kruus, K., Meyer, A.S. 2018. Cellulases adsorb reversibly on biomass lignin. Biotechnol and Bioengineering, 115:2869-2880

von Freiesleben, P., Spodsberg, N., Stenbæk, A., Stålbrand, H., Krogh, K.B.R.M., Meyer, A.S. 2018. Boosting of enzymatic softwood saccharification by fungal GH5 and GH26 endomannanases. Biotechnol Biofuels, 11:194-108

Weiss, N.D., Felby, C., Thygesen, L.G. 2018. Water retention value predicts biomass recalcitrance for pretreated lignocellulosic materials across feedstocks and pretreatment methods. Cellulose, 25:3423–3434.

Jensen, M.M., Djajadi, D.T., Torri, C., Rasmussen, H.B., Madsen, R.B., Venturini, E., Vassura, I., Becker, J., Iversen, B.B., Meyer, A.S, Jørgensen, H., Fabbri, D., Glasius, M. Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Enzymatic Hydrolysis Lignin: Biomass Pretreatment Severity Affects Lignin Valorization. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2018 6 (5), 5940-5949

Mosbech, C., Holck, J., Meyer, A.S., Wittrup, J.A. The natural catalytic function of CuGE glucuronoyl esterase in hydrolysis of genuine lignin–carbohydrate complexes from birch. Biotechnol Biofuels (2018) 11:71.

Djajadi, D.T., Jensen, M.M., Oliveira, M., Jensen, A., Thygesen, L.G., Pinelo, M., Glasius, M., Jørgensen, H., Meyer, A.S. Lignin from hydrothermally pretreated grass biomass retards enzymatic cellulose degradation by acting as a physical barrier rather than by inducing nonproductive adsorption of enzymes. Biotechnology for Biofuels (2018) 11:85.

Morthensen, S.T.; Zeuner, B.; Meyer, A.S.; Jørgensen, H.; Pinelo, M. 2018. Membrane separation of enzyme-converted biomass compounds: Recovery of xylose and production of gluconic acid as a value-added product. Separation and Purification Technology, Vol. 194, p. 73-80

Shafiq Mohd Sueb,M., Zdarta,J., Jesionowski,T., Jonsson,G., Meyer,A.S., Jørgensen,H., Pinelo,M. (2017) High-performance removal of acids and furans from wheat straw pretreatment liquid by diananofiltration, Separation Science and Technology, 52:11, 1901-1912.

Jeoh,T., Karuna,N., Weiss,N.D., Thygesen,L.G. Two-Dimensional 1H‑Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Relaxometry for Understanding Biomass Recalcitrance.  ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2017, 5, 8785−8795.

Djajadi DT, Hansen AR, Jensen A, Thygesen LG, Pinelo M, Meyer AS, Jørgensen H. 2017: Surface properties correlate to the digestibility of hydrothermally pretreated key Poaceae lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks. Biotechnol f Biofuels. 10:49-54

Shafiq Mohd Sueb, M., Luo, J., Meyer, A.S., Jørgensen, H., Pinelo, M.: Impact of the fouling mechanism on enzymatic depolymerization of xylan in different configurations of membrane reactors. Separation and Purification Technology, Volume 178, 7 May 2017, Pages 154-162

Morthensen, S.T. , Sigurdardóttir, S.B. , Meyer, A.S. , Jørgensen, H. , Pinelo, M.: Separation of xylose and glucose using an integrated membrane system for enzymatic cofactor regeneration and downstream purification. Journal of Membrane Science, Volume 523, 1 February 2017, Pages 327-335.

Morthensen, S.T. , Meyer, A.S. , Jørgensen, H. , Pinelo, M.: Significance of membrane bioreactor design on the biocatalytic performance of glucose oxidase and catalase: Free vs. immobilized enzyme systems. Biochemical Engineering Journal, Volume 117, 15 January 2017, Pages 41-47.

Weiss, D.N.; Thygesen, G.L.; Felby, C.; Roslander, C.; Gourlay, K.: Biomass-Water Interactions Correlate to Recalcitrance and Are Intensified by Pretreatment: An Investigation of Water Constraint and Retention in Pretreated Spruce Using Low Field NMR and Water Retention Value Techniques. Biotechnol. Prog., 2016. DOI: 10.1002/btpr.2398

Schückel, J., Kračun, S. K., Willats, W. G. High-throughput Screening of Carbohydrate-degrading Enzymes Using Novel Insoluble Chromogenic Substrate Assay Kits. J. Vis. Exp., 2016, (115), e54286, doi:10.3791/54286

Jørgensen, H. and Pinelo, M.: Enzyme recycling in lignocellulosic biorefineries. Biofuels, Bioprod. Bioref. Sep 2016, doi:10.1002/bbb.1724

Luo, J., Zeuner, B., Morthensen, S. T., Meyer, A. S., & Pinelo, M. Separation of phenolic acids from monosaccharides by low-pressure nanofiltration integrated with laccase pre-treatmentsJournal of Membrane Science, February 2015, volume 482, 83-91. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2015.02.022

Morthensen, S. T., Luo, J., Meyer, A. S., Jørgensen, H., & Pinelo, M. High performance separation of xylose and glucose by enzyme assisted nanofiltration.  Journal of Membrane Science, October 2015, 492, 107-115 doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2015.05.025