Composition of Lignin-to-Liquid Solvolysis Oils from Lignin Extracted in a Semi-Continuous Organosolv Process
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Chemistry 
The interest and on-going research on utilisation of lignin as feedstock for production of renewable and sustainable aromatics is expanding and shows great potential. This study investigates the applicability of semi-continuously organosolv extracted lignin in Lignin-to-Liquid (LtL) solvolysis, using formic acid as hydrogen donor and water as solvent under high temperature–high pressure (HTHP) conditions. The high purity of the organosolv lignin provides high conversion yields at up to 94% based on lignin mass input. The formic acid input is a dominating parameter in lignin conversion. Carbon balance calculations of LtL-solvolysis experiments also indicate that formic acid can give a net carbon contribution to the bio-oils, in addition to its property as hydrogenation agent. Compound specific quantification of the ten most abundant components in the LtL-oils describe up to 10% of the bio-oil composition, and reaction temperature is shown to be the dominating parameter for the structures present. The structural and quantitative results from this study identify components of considerable value in the LtL-oil, and support the position of this oil as a potentially important source of building blocks for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.