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Molecules 2016, 21(4), 413; doi:10.3390/molecules21040413

Microwave-Assisted γ-Valerolactone Production for Biomass Lignin Extraction: A Cascade Protocol

1
Dipartimento di Chimica, University of Turin, Via P. Giuria 7, 10125 Turin, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Scienza e Tecnologia del Farmaco and NIS-Centre for Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces, University of Turin, Via P. Giuria 9, 10125 Turin, Italy
3
Milestone Srl, Via Fatebenefratelli 1/5, 24010 Sorisole (BG), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 16 February 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 March 2016 / Published: 26 March 2016
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Abstract

The general need to slow the depletion of fossil resources and reduce carbon footprints has led to tremendous effort being invested in creating “greener” industrial processes and developing alternative means to produce fuels and synthesize platform chemicals. This work aims to design a microwave-assisted cascade process for a full biomass valorisation cycle. GVL (γ-valerolactone), a renewable green solvent, has been used in aqueous acidic solution to achieve complete biomass lignin extraction. After lignin precipitation, the levulinic acid (LA)-rich organic fraction was hydrogenated, which regenerated the starting solvent for further biomass delignification. This process does not requires a purification step because GVL plays the dual role of solvent and product, while the reagent (LA) is a product of biomass delignification. In summary, this bio-refinery approach to lignin extraction is a cascade protocol in which the solvent loss is integrated into the conversion cycle, leading to simplified methods for biomass valorisation. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignin; biomass; γ-valerolactone; microwaves; bio-refinery lignin; biomass; γ-valerolactone; microwaves; bio-refinery
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Tabasso, S.; Grillo, G.; Carnaroglio, D.; Calcio Gaudino, E.; Cravotto, G. Microwave-Assisted γ-Valerolactone Production for Biomass Lignin Extraction: A Cascade Protocol. Molecules 2016, 21, 413.

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