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Structural Analysis of Pyrolytic Lignins Isolated from Switchgrass Fast-Pyrolysis Oil
- Fortin, Michael, Mohadjer Beromi, Megan, Lai, Amy, Tarves, Paul C., Mullen, Charles A., Boateng, Akwasi A., West, Nathan M.
- Energy & Fuels 2015 v.29 no.12 pp. 8017-8026
- Panicum virgatum, biofuels, biorefining, esters, feedstocks, guaiacol, hemicellulose, lignin, molecular weight, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, oils, phenol, pyrolysis
- Structural characterization of lignin extracted from the bio-oil produced by fast pyrolysis of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is reported. This is important for understanding the utility of lignin as a chemical feedstock in a pyrolysis-based biorefinery scheme. Pyrolysis induces a variety of structural changes to lignin in addition to reduction in molecular weight. The guaiacol structural units remain largely intact, and some hemicellulose stays covalently linked to the lignin. However, two-dimensional ¹H–¹³C HSQC NMR analysis shows an absence of γ-methylene hydrogens from β-O-4 linkages, implying that rearrangements in the propyl linking chains have occurred. Ferulate and hydroxyl phenol esters are still present in the pyrolyzed lignin, but at lower concentrations than in unpyrolyzed switchgrass lignin.