Publication

Catalytic Depolymerization of Lignin and Woody Biomass in Supercritical Ethanol: Influence of Reaction Temperature and Feedstock

Huang, X., Atay, C., Zhu, J., Palstra, S. W. L., Korányi, T. I., Boot, M. D. & Hensen, E. J. M., 6-Nov-2017, In : ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering . 5, 11, p. 10864-10874 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Xiaoming Huang
  • Ceylanpinar Atay
  • Jiadong Zhu
  • Sanne W L Palstra
  • Tamás I Korányi
  • Michael D Boot
  • Emiel J M Hensen

The one-step ethanolysis approach to upgrade lignin to monomeric aromatics using a CuMgAl mixed oxide catalyst is studied in detail. The influence of reaction temperature (200-420 °C) on the product distribution is investigated. At low temperature (200-250 °C), recondensation is dominant, while char-forming reactions become significant at high reaction temperature (>380 °C). At preferred intermediate temperatures (300-340 °C), char-forming reactions are effectively suppressed by alkylation and Guerbet and esterification reactions. This shifts the reaction toward depolymerization, explaining high monomeric aromatics yield. Carbon-14 dating analysis of the lignin residue revealed that a substantial amount of the carbon in the lignin residue originates from reactions of lignin with ethanol. Recycling tests show that the activity of the regenerated catalyst was strongly decreased due to a loss of basic sites due to hydrolysis of the MgO function and a loss of surface area due to spinel oxide formation of the Cu and Al components. The utility of this one-step approach for upgrading woody biomass was also demonstrated. An important observation is that conversion of the native lignin contained in the lignocellulosic matrix is much easier than the conversion of technical lignin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10864-10874
Number of pages11
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Volume5
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 6-Nov-2017

    Keywords

  • Journal Article, KRAFT LIGNIN, REDUCTIVE FRACTIONATION, ALKALI LIGNIN, FORMIC-ACID, HYDROGENOLYSIS PROCESS, PHENOLIC-COMPOUNDS, AROMATIC MONOMERS, LIQUID FUELS, BIO-OIL, CONVERSION

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