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Article

Effects of Ethanol Concentration on Organosolv Lignin Precipitation and Aggregation from Miscanthus x giganteus

1
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia
2
SMART Farming Technology Research Centre, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia
3
School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK
4
Phytatec (UK) Ltd., Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth SY23 3EB, UK
5
Chemical Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(7), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8070845
Received: 23 April 2020 / Revised: 10 June 2020 / Accepted: 19 June 2020 / Published: 16 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Processes: Working towards a Sustainable Society)
This work assesses the behavior of organosolv lignin aggregates derived from Miscanthus x giganteus using different ethanol concentrations (10%, 25%, 50%, and 75% by volume). The percentage of lignin recovery was found to decrease from 75.8% to 71.4% and 25.1%, as the ethanol concentration was increased from 10% to 25% and 50%, respectively. Increasing the ethanol concentration further to 75% led to zero recovery. The purity of the precipitated lignin was consistently found to be ≥90%. Lignin derived from the dried supernatant obtained at 50% ethanol concentration resulted in high lignin purity (51.6%) in comparison with the other ethanol concentrations used. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that the precipitated lignin and dried supernatant at 50% ethanol concentration possessed the highest peak intensity apportioned to wavenumber of lignin as compared to that of at 25% and 10% ethanol concentrations, and the results linked with the percentage of lignin purity. The results of particle size analysis for precipitated lignin demonstrated particle sizes of 306, 392, and 2050 nm for 10%, 25%, and 50% ethanol concentrations, respectively, and the remaining supernatant with average particle sizes of 1598, 1197, and 875 nm, respectively. These results were verified with the morphology of lignin macromolecules in scanning electron microscopy images. Results of the particle size distribution of lignin revealed that the overall size of lignin aggregates decreased with decreasing ethanol concentration. In summary, these findings suggest that ethanol concentration affected the behavior of lignin aggregates in water–ethanol solution. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignocellulosic; organosolv; lignin; aggregates; purity; concentration lignocellulosic; organosolv; lignin; aggregates; purity; concentration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hamzah, M.H.; Bowra, S.; Cox, P. Effects of Ethanol Concentration on Organosolv Lignin Precipitation and Aggregation from Miscanthus x giganteus. Processes 2020, 8, 845. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8070845

AMA Style

Hamzah MH, Bowra S, Cox P. Effects of Ethanol Concentration on Organosolv Lignin Precipitation and Aggregation from Miscanthus x giganteus. Processes. 2020; 8(7):845. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8070845

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hamzah, Muhammad H., Steve Bowra, and Philip Cox. 2020. "Effects of Ethanol Concentration on Organosolv Lignin Precipitation and Aggregation from Miscanthus x giganteus" Processes 8, no. 7: 845. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8070845

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