News articles

Mechanisms and applications of ligninolytic enzymes

Enzymatic functionalization is an attractive tool to provide a reactive interface for further processing of lignocellulosic materials, such as wood particles and fibers. A research group (Professor Ewald Srebotnik) from the Vienna University of Technology is investigating the potential of so-called laccase/mediator systems for applications in wood processing and in the degradation of xenobiotics.

Professor Ewald Srebotnik

Professor Ewald Srebotnik

Professor Ewald Srebotnik

Professor Ewald Srebotnik

Wood particles have been functionalized by fungal laccase combined with HMBA (4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-benzylamine) or HMBU (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylurea). The expectation was crosslinking with resins in subsequent glueing processes, which should improve strength properties of particle boards. Srebotnik and his team employed a multifactorial experimental design for board production from treated wood particles and urea/formaldehyde resin. Variance analysis of relevant parameters and their interactions demonstrated a highly significant difference between boards treated with laccase/HMBU versus untreated wood particles and a possible reduction of 20% of the glue in particle boards

The partner of the project are the "Competence Centre for Wood Composites and Wood Chemistry" (www.kplus-wood.at) and the company "Fritz Egger" (www.egger.at).

For further inquiries, please contact:
Professor Ewald Srebotnik
Institute of Chemical Engineering, Gene Technology and Applied Biochemistry
Vienna University of Technology
Getreidemarkt 9/E 166, A-1060 Vienna
Telephone: +43/1/58801 – 17242, -17245
Email: ewald.srebotnik@tuwien.ac.at