Catalytic hydrotreatment of pyrolytic lignins from different sources to biobased chemicals: Identification of feed-product relations

Figueirêdo, M. B., Deuss, P. J., Venderbosch, R. H. & Heeres, H. J., Mar-2020, In : Biomass and Bioenergy. 134, 10 p., 105484.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The pyrolysis liquid biorefinery concept involves separation of pyrolysis liquids in various fractions followed by conversion of the fractions to value-added products. Pyrolytic lignins (PLs), the water-insoluble fractions of pyrolysis liquids, are heterogeneous, cross linked oligomers composed of substituted phenolics whose structure and physicochemical properties vary significantly depending on the biomass source. The catalytic hydrotreatment of six PLs from different biomass sources (pine, prunings, verge grass, miscanthus and sunflower seed peel) was investigated to determine the effect of different feedstocks on the final product composition and particularly the amount of alkylphenolics and aromatics, the latter being important building blocks for the chemical industry. Hydrotreatment was performed with Pd/C, 100 bar of hydrogen pressure and temperatures in the range of 350–435 °C, resulting in depolymerized product mixtures with monomer yields up to 39.1 wt% (based on PL intake). The molecular composition of the hydrotreated oils was shown to be a strong function of the PL feed and reaction conditions. Statistical analyses provided the identification of specific structural drivers on the formation of aromatics and phenolics, and a simple model able to accurately predict the yields of such monomers after catalytic hydrotreatment was obtained (R2 = 0.9944) and cross-validated (R2 = 0.9326). These feed-product relations will support future selections of PL feeds to obtain the highest amounts of valuable biobased chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105484
Number of pages10
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2020


  • Alkylphenolics, Aromatics, Catalysis, Hydrotreatment, Pyrolytic lignin

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