Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11(10), 4035-4050; doi:10.3390/ijms11104035
Article

Characteristics of Lignin from Flax Shives as Affected by Extraction Conditions

Pacific Agri-Food Research Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 4200 Highway 97, Summerland, BC, V0H 1Z0, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2010; in revised form: 27 September 2010 / Accepted: 14 October 2010 / Published: 20 October 2010
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Abstract: Lignin, a polyphenolic molecule, is a major constituent of flax shives. This polyphenolic molecular structure renders lignin a potential source of a variety of commercially viable products such as fine chemicals. This work compares the performance of different lignin isolation methods. Lignin from flax shive was isolated using both conventional alkaline extraction method and a novel experimental pressurized low polarity water (PLPW) extraction process. The lignin yields and chemical composition of the lignin fractions were determined. The conventional alkali treatment with 1.25 M NaOH, heated at 80 °C for 5 h, extracted 92 g lignin per kg flax shives, while lignin yields from the PLPW extracts ranged from 27 to 241 g lignin per kg flax shives. The purity and monomeric composition of the lignins obtained from the different extraction conditions was assessed via UV spectroscopy and alkaline nitrobenzene oxidation. Lignin obtained from conventional alkali treatment with 1.25 M NaOH, heated at 80 °C for 5 h was of low purity and exhibited the lowest yields of nitrobenzene oxidation products. With respect to alkali assisted PLPW extractions, temperature created an opposing effect on lignin yield and nitrobenzene oxidation products. More lignin was extracted as temperature increased, yet the yield of nitrobenzene oxidation products decreased. The low yield of nitrobenzene oxidation products may be attributed to either the formation of condensed structures or the selective dissolution of condensed structures of lignin during the pressurized alkaline high temperature treatment. Analytical pyrolysis, using pyroprobe GC-MS, was used to investigate the molecular composition of the lignin samples. The total yield of pyrolysis lignin products was 13.3, 64.7, and 30.5% for the 1.25 M NaOH extracted lignin, alkaline assisted PLPW extracted lignin, and the unprocessed flax shives, respectively. Key lignin derived compounds such as guaiacol, 4-vinyl guaiacol, 4-methyl guaiacol, syringol, eugenol, isoeugenol, catechol, homocatechol, and vanillin were detected in all of the samples.
Keywords: flax shives; biomass; lignin; extraction; pressurized low polarity water; PLPW; subcritical water; nitrobenzene oxidation; UV spectroscopy; Pyrolysis-GC-MS

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ross, K.; Mazza, G. Characteristics of Lignin from Flax Shives as Affected by Extraction Conditions. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11, 4035-4050.

AMA Style

Ross K, Mazza G. Characteristics of Lignin from Flax Shives as Affected by Extraction Conditions. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2010; 11(10):4035-4050.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ross, Kelly; Mazza, Giuseppe. 2010. "Characteristics of Lignin from Flax Shives as Affected by Extraction Conditions." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 11, no. 10: 4035-4050.

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