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From lignin to valuable products–strategies, challenges, and prospects

Wang, Hongliang, Pu, Yunqiao, Ragauskas, Arthur, Yang, Bin
Bioresource technology 2019 v.271 pp. 449-461
biomass, biorefining, carbon, chemical analysis, lignin, mineral resources, profitability
The exploration of effective approaches for the valorization of lignin to valuable products attracts broad interests of a growing scientific community. By fully unlocking the potential of the world’s most abundant resource of bio-aromatics, it could improve the profitability and carbon efficiency of the entire biorefinery process, thus accelerate the replacement of fossil resources with bioresources in our society. The successful realization of this goal depends on the development of technologies to overcome the following challenges, including: 1) efficient biomass pretreatment and lignin separation technologies that overcomes its diverse structure and complex chemistry challenges to obtain high purity lignin; 2) advanced chemical analysis for precise quantitative characterization of the lignin in chemical transformation processes; 3) novel approaches for conversion of biomass-derived lignin to valuable products. This review summarizes the latest cutting-edge innovations of lignin chemical valorization with the focus on the aforementioned three key aspects.