VTT – Technical research centre of Finland

Topic of investigations in the project (title)

Chemo-enzymatic functionalization of lignin and improvement of hydrolysis using Penicillium veruculosum cellulases


VTT, Technical research centre of Finland


P.O.Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Finland

Project leader:

Tarja Tamminen

Responsible co-worker:

Anna Kalliola, Kristiina Kruus, Kaisa Marjamaa


VTT will develop chemo-enzymatic treatments of lignin, aiming at enzymatic activation followed by functionalisation. Various commercial and experimental laccases will be tested. Functionalisation additives to be tested will be selected based on desired composite material properties. Linear hydrophilic substituents are expected to soften the lignin and improve its compatibility with natural reinforcement fibers. Lowered softening temperature would also reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) produced during the processing step, as lower temperature could be applied.
VTT will also develop optimized enzyme mixtures for pretreated biomasses. Penicillium verruculosum (mutant strain DSM 7069) and Trichoderma reesei (hemi)cellulases will be compared, looking for possible synergies. The aim is to improve the saccharification of the carbohydrates in the SSF process. Furthermore, VTT will aim at identifying the critical parameters in high consistency hydrolysis. This includes hydrolysis kinetics and possible inhibitions (end product inhibition and substrate derived inhibition).