Submitted to: Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 9, 2007
Publication Date: March 23, 2008
Citation: Price, N.P. 2008. Permethylation linkage analysis techniques for residual carbohydrates. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 148(1-3):271-276.
Interpretive Summary: Residual products from the fermentation of biomass for fuel ethanol production typically consist of complex carbohydrates, plus other products such as lignin. The analysis of these carbohydrate residues will be important for maximizing the fermentation process for optimal ethanol production. Techniques are described to optimize the linkage analysis (degree of branching) between the sugar units of complex carbohydrates. It is fully expected that these techniques will be valuable to researchers and producers in the biofuels sector.
Permethylation analysis is the classic approach to establishing the position of glycosidic linkages between sugar residues. Typically, the carbohydrate is derivatized to form acid-stable methyl ethers, hydrolyzed, peracetylated, and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The position of glycosidic linkages in the starting carbohydrate are apparent from the mass spectra, as determined by the location of acetyl residues. These techniques are highly applicable to residual carbohydrates from biofuel processes.