Lignin Depolymerization in Hydrogen-Donor Solvents

Edwin Dorrestijn, Marieke Kranenburg, Didier Poinsot,  and Peter Mulder


The conversion of different types of lignin to monophenolic compounds has been studied between 500 and 650 K, under typical coal liquefaction conditions using 9,10-dihydroanthracene (AnH2) and 7H-benz[de]anthracene (BzH) as the hydrogen-donor solvents. The yield of phenolic compounds was found to increase with the capacity of the hydrogen donor. The application of a polar cosolvent appeared to be beneficial as well. The differences in product distribution could be related to the origin of lignin. The maximum yield amounted to 11 % after 4 h at 625 K using milled wood lignin in AnH2. It has been found that lignin itself is a hydrogen-donating substance and capable of cleaving aromatic ketones such as α-phenoxyacetophenone.

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Holzforschung is an international scholarly journal that publishes cutting-edge research on the biology, chemistry, physics and technology of wood and wood components. High quality papers about biotechnology and tree genetics are also welcome. Rated year after year as one of the top scientific journals in the category of Pulp and Paper (ISI Journal Citation Index), Holzforschung represents innovative, high quality basic and applied research.