Enzymatic isolation and structural characterization of polymeric suberin of cork from Quercus suber L.


An enzymatic method has been used to isolate, for the first time, suberin from the bark of Quercus suber L. (commonly known as cork), in a polymeric state. The characterisation of suberin was achieved by multiple analysis using C-13 cross-polarisation and magic-angle spinning (CPMAS) NMR, C-13 and H-1 liquid state NMR, FTIR/PAS and vapour pressure osmometry (VPO). The results show that the suberin isolated is an aliphatic polyester with an average molar weight of 2050 gmol(-1), composed of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The presence of signals characteristic of ester and olefinic groups in the NMR spectra, associated with the absence of signals of acidic groups, confirm that the suberin thus isolated did not suffer depolymerization. In addition, the polymer does not exhibit NMR features typical peaks of aromatic moieties or lignin-like compounds.


Engineering; Materials Science


Rocha, S; Gil, A; Delgadillo, I; Neto, CP

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