Main content area

Modeling the Lignin Degradation Kinetics in an Ethanol/Formic Acid Solvolysis Approach. Part 1. Kinetic Model Development

Gasson, James R., Forchheim, Daniel, Sutter, Tatjana, Hornung, Ursel, Kruse, Andrea, Barth, Tanja
Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2012 v.51 no.32 pp. 10595-10606
alkylation, depolymerization, engineering, ethanol, formic acid, kinetics, lignin, liquids, models, moieties, phenols, solvolysis, wheat straw
A formal kinetic model describing the main reaction pathways yielding demethoxylated monomeric phenols from wheat straw lignin in a hydrogen-enriched solvolysis reaction system using ethanol as cosolvent has been developed. The simplified lump model combines both a detailed focus on the deoxygenation reactions at molecular level as well as the reactions of global bulk lumps. The results show that depolymerization of lignin structures is quickly achieved and that deoxygenation reactions largely follow a main route pathway via intermediate methoxyphenols and catechols to give stable phenols in the liquid phase. Observed ethyl group substituents of phenolics are seen to originate from either alkylation reactions of the intermediates, or directly from the depolymerizing structures. A high correlation between primary 4-ethylphenol products and para-coumaryl units in the examined lignin suggests that main reaction pathways are strongly dependent on the type of plant lignin used.