Xylan biopolymers are the dominant hemicelluloses present in agricultural plant materials which have potential use in various biotechnological processes including methane production. Hence, the effect of lignin content and the structural features of xylan on anaerobic digestion were studied by using synthetic assemblies consisting of xylans and lignin models (dehydrogenation polymers). The ramification by arabinose and uronic acid was shown to be a key factor in low methane potential (BMP) from xylans and xylan-lignin assemblies. Indeed, BMP increased when xylose content was increased, and decreased when arabinose and uronic acid contents were increased. Lignin content and molecular weight were found to be the most influential parameters on the anaerobic digestion rate. Digestion rate decreased when the lignin content and molecular mass increased. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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