A detailed chemical and structural understanding of preenzymatic processing of lignocellulosic materials (LCMs) is a key objective in the development of renewable energy. Efficient rendering of biomass components into fermentable substrates for conversion into biofuel feedstocks would benefit greatly from the development of new technologies to provide high-quality, spatially resolved chemical information about LCMs during the various processing states. In an effort to realize this important goal, spatially correlated confocal Raman and mass spectrometric images allow the extraction of three-dimensional information from the perennial grass, Miscanthus x giganteus. An optical microscopy-based landmark registry scheme was developed that allows samples to be transferred between laboratories at different institutions, while retaining the capability to access the same physical regions of the samples. Subsequent to higher resolution imaging via confocal Raman microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry was used to place these regions within the overall sample architecture. Excellent sample registry was evident in the highly correlated Raman and SIMS images. In addition, the correlation of vibrational Raman scattering with mass spectra from specific spatial locations allowed confirmation of the assignment of intracellular globular structures to hemicellulose-rich lignin complexes, an assignment which could only be made tentatively from either image alone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry