Energy-Resolved Mass Spectrometry as a Tool for Identification of Lignin Depolymerization Products

Xueming Dong, Heather Mayes, Kris Morreel, Rui Katahira, Yanding Li, John Ralph, Brenna Black, Gregg Beckham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus Citations


Lignin is the largest source of bio-based aromatic compounds in nature, and its valorization is essential to the sustainability of lignocellulosic biorefining. Characterizing lignin-derived compounds remains challenging due to the heterogeneity of this biopolymer. Tandem mass spectrometry is a promising tool for lignin structural analytics, as fragmentation patterns of model compounds can be extrapolated to identify characteristic moieties in complex samples. This work extended previous resonance excitation-type collision-induced dissociation (CID) methods that identified lignin oligomers containing β–O–4, β–5, and β–β bonds, to also identify characteristics of 5–5, β–1, and 4–O–5 dimers, enabled by quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF) CID with energy-resolved mass spectrometry (ERMS). Overall, QTOF-ERMS offers in-depth structural information and could ultimately contribute to tools for high-throughput lignin dimer identification.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere202201441
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2800-81927


  • analytical methods
  • biomass
  • fragmentation mechanisms
  • mass spectrometry
  • renewable resources


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