Final Thesis

Development of a process for the extraction of (oligo)phenolic components from pretreated biomass

Key Info

Basic Information

Biochemical Engineering
Focus/Key Topic:


The conversion of biomass into biofuel consists of several steps: (i) pretreatment of the biomass, (ii) enzymatic hydrolysis, (iii) biological or chemical processing, and (iv) product purification. During the pretreatment, inhibitors (eg oligophenols) are formed which inhibit the enzymes during the following hydrolysis step or greatly reduce their activity and thus the efficiency of the process. In the project pretreated biomass (wheat straw) should be analyzed and then fractionated into its various components to separate potential inhibitors. The focus is on the extraction (oligo) phenolic components. The aim of the Master's thesis is to develop a method to fractionate the pretreated biomass as cleanly as possible. The particular challenge here is the consideration of the biocompatibility of the fractions obtained. In this project, both known methods from the literature can be tested, but also own ideas may be introduced and tested. What you get: - Fractionation of biomass, especially extraction of phenols - Handling modern analyzers - Experimental laboratory experience - Independent development of experiments What we expect: - work independently - Thorough, structured work - Experience with literature research - Previous knowledge of process engineering The thesis is offered in English as well as in German. Literature: I. Rasmussen, H.; Sørensen, H. R.; Tanner, D.; Meyer, A. S. (2017): New pentose dimers with bicyclic moieties from pretreated biomass. In: RSC Adv 7 (9), S. 5206–5213. DOI: 10.1039/C6RA25432B. II. Rasmussen, H.; Tanner, D.; Sorensen, H. R.; Meyer, A. S. (2017): New degradation compounds from lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment: routes for formation of potent oligophenolic enzyme inhibitors. In: Green Chem 19 (2), S. 464–473. DOI: 10.1039/C6GC01809B.