Lignin Depolyrization for Chemical Applications : Strategis & Tecnoloies
Lignin is a promising source of biobased phenolic compounds that can be used widely in several industrial applications, e.g., as a component or additive in polymer and other systems
or as a biogenic fuel substitute (Rößiger et al., 2018). In particular, the material chemistry community is attracted to lignin, which is identified as an optimal aromatic source for the
generation of bio-based reconstituted polymers obtained via standard polymer transformations (Graglia et al., 2015). Thus, valorization of lignin is one of the most important challenges
for the development of sustainable products in the evolving bio-economy.
The alkylphenolic structure of the lignin molecule can be cleaved into lower MW compounds such as monomeric and oligomeric phenols, alkylphenols and phenol resins that
can replace those obtained from fossil resources. Presently, most industrially produced lignin is produced in the form of residual black liquor from pulping processes and, in particular,
the kraft pulping process. In this case, the lignin is combusted in a recovery boiler for the production of chemicals, steam and electricity for internal mill use. Even though these are fine
using of lignin, they correspond to a value for the lignin of only $150-200/tonne depending on the incremental fuel being used at any given mill.
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