Lignocellulosic biomass is a highly abundant and renewable organic material that is extremely prevalent. This feedstock is a viable and cheap substitute for many processes that use non renewable and less abundant feedstocks. HS is an emerging soil additive for agricultural production used to condition soil and increase nutrient uptake while reducing nutrient run off. Common HS products purchased for agricultural application are mined from river beds. Lignin has historically been disregarded and burnt for its stored energy. Currently, the wood pulping and biofuel industries are realizing that lignin has more value as a feedstock if it can be extracted without degrading the other components, namely hemicellulose and cellulose. Background HS ( Humic Substances) Derived From Biomass John Nemenyi, Zhaohui Tong Dept. of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, University of Florida Presenting authors: John Nemenyi and Zhonglin Lai|Email : Nemenyi93@ufl.edu and firstname.lastname@example.org Hydrophilicity: Lignin is commonly extracted in a water insoluble from which is ideal for soil applications. Water soluble HS is possible too with some chemical treatments that may allow it to be used in hydroponics. Molecular Size and Weight: Different molecular weights of HS will be extracted together and can be separated into factions based on size. Molecular size and weight have impacts on the functionality of the HS. Ideal Structures Depolymerize the lignin component of sweet sorghum bagasse into a HS with desired physical properties for increasing nutrient uptake and reducing nutrient run off in agricultural production. Objective Many products are being derived from low value biological residues. The focus is to utilize these highly abundant, low value feedstocks to produce high value soil additives for agricultural production. Take Home Message Discussion Figure 1: Molecular structure of lignocellulosic biomass STAGE 1: Oxidize Lignin STAGE 2: Precipitated Out Product Sweet Sorghum Bagasse HS Product Acknowledgements and Biological Engineering (ABE) Department and the Center for Undergraduate Research. We particularly want to thank Joe Sagues, a PhD Student in ABE, and Dr. Zhaohui Tong, an Assistant Professor in ABE. References: Ragauskas et al. (2006) Science Zeng et al. (2015) ChemSusChem Huang et al. (2015) Green Chemistry Galken et al. (2016) ChemSusChem Lin et al. (2016) Molecules Cellulose Pulp Mild Acid Hydrolysis Methods Other Traditional Methods of Oxidation: Common practices include an array of different methods for oxidation of the lignocellulosic. Some of the common approaches focus on the chemistry while other studies have focused on mimicking nature by utilizing microbiology. An impactful paper utilized fungal Laccase Catalyzed oxidation. Our Proposed Method of Oxidation: Our process extracts the phenolic structures directly from the whole biomass while leaving the rest of the callouses structures in the biomass. Reactions will ideally happen at room temperature and pressure. Approach Figure 2: The process under development. Stages 1 and 2 convert the lignin component to valuable phenolic structures, while leaving the cellulose in its original crystalline form. The mild acid hydrolysis process removes the residual hemicellulose to produce a valuable pulp, and the exact process used can vary. Figure 4: Schematic of Humic stimuli Biomass can be used to chemically derive HS which can be applied to soil as a conditioning agent to increase buffering capabilities and reduce agricultural run off. The biomass can be pretreated with the HS extraction to break down the lignin in biomass, prior to standard cellulose pulping. HS can be blended with amino acids, salts and trace elements to create a recipe for healthy agricultural production. Currently looking at soil treatment but hydroponic solution treatment is next Figure 3: The current ideal structure for the biomass derived HS.