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Open AccessArticle

Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Lignin Isolated by Hybrid Organosolv—Steam Explosion Pretreatment of Hardwood and Softwood Biomass for the Production of Phenolics and Aromatics

1
Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2
Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute, Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CPERI/CERTH), 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
3
Biochemical Process Engineering, Division of Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971-87 Luleå, Sweden
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2019, 9(11), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9110935
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 2 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
Lignin, one of the three main structural biopolymers of lignocellulosic biomass, is the most abundant natural source of aromatics with a great valorization potential towards the production of fuels, chemicals, and polymers. Although kraft lignin and lignosulphonates, as byproducts of the pulp/paper industry, are available in vast amounts, other types of lignins, such as the organosolv or the hydrolysis lignin, are becoming increasingly important, as they are side-streams of new biorefinery processes aiming at the (bio)catalytic valorization of biomass sugars. Within this context, in this work, we studied the thermal (non-catalytic) and catalytic fast pyrolysis of softwood (spruce) and hardwood (birch) lignins, isolated by a hybrid organosolv–steam explosion biomass pretreatment method in order to investigate the effect of lignin origin/composition on product yields and lignin bio-oil composition. The catalysts studied were conventional microporous ZSM-5 (Zeolite Socony Mobil–5) zeolites and hierarchical ZSM-5 zeolites with intracrystal mesopores (i.e., 9 and 45 nm) or nano-sized ZSM-5 with a high external surface. All ZSM-5 zeolites were active in converting the initially produced via thermal pyrolysis alkoxy-phenols (i.e., of guaiacyl and syringyl/guaiacyl type for spruce and birch lignin, respectively) towards BTX (benzene, toluene, xylene) aromatics, alkyl-phenols and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, mainly naphthalenes), with the mesoporous ZSM-5 exhibiting higher dealkoxylation reactivity and being significantly more selective towards mono-aromatics compared to the conventional ZSM-5, for both spruce and birch lignin. View Full-Text
Keywords: spruce and birch wood lignin; hybrid organosolv—steam explosion pretreatment; catalytic fast pyrolysis; model compounds; bio-oil; phenolics and aromatics; microporous and hierarchical ZSM-5 zeolite spruce and birch wood lignin; hybrid organosolv—steam explosion pretreatment; catalytic fast pyrolysis; model compounds; bio-oil; phenolics and aromatics; microporous and hierarchical ZSM-5 zeolite
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Charisteidis, I.; Lazaridis, P.; Fotopoulos, A.; Pachatouridou, E.; Matsakas, L.; Rova, U.; Christakopoulos, P.; Triantafyllidis, K. Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Lignin Isolated by Hybrid Organosolv—Steam Explosion Pretreatment of Hardwood and Softwood Biomass for the Production of Phenolics and Aromatics. Catalysts 2019, 9, 935.

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