Lignin solubilisation and gentle fractionation in liquid ammonia

Z. Strassberger, P. Prinsen, F. van der Klis, D.S. van Es, S. Tanase, G. Rothenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a simple method for solubilising lignin using liquid ammonia. Unlike water, which requires harsh conditions, ammonia can solubilise technical lignins, in particular kraft lignin. A commercial pine wood Kraft lignin (Indulin AT) was solubilized instantaneously at room temperature and 7–11 bars autogeneous pressure, while a commercial mixed wheat straw/Sarkanda grass soda lignin (Protobind™ 1000) was solubilized within 3 h at ambient temperature, and 30 min at. 85 °C. Hydroxide salts were not required. Wheat straw, poplar and spruce organosolv lignins, as well as elephant grass native lignin (MWL) were also solubilized, albeit at lower values. Different sequences of solubilisation and extraction were tested on the Protobind™ 1000 lignin. The remaining lignin residues were characterized by FTIR, size exclusion chromatography (SEC), elemental analysis (ICP), 2D-NMR and 31P NMR. Liquid ammonia is not an innocent solvent, as some nitrogen was incorporated in the residual lignin which then rearranged to higher molecular weight fractions. Nevertheless, the mild solubilisation conditions make liquid ammonia an attractive candidate as a solvent for lignin in future biorefinery processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-334
JournalGreen Chemistry
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Lignin
solubilization
Fractionation
Ammonia
lignin
ammonia
fractionation
liquid
Liquids
Straw
straw
Nuclear magnetic resonance
nuclear magnetic resonance
wheat
grass
Size exclusion chromatography
elephant
Wood
Nitrogen
Salts

Keywords

  • technical lignins
  • renewable chemicals
  • catalysts
  • extraction
  • conversion
  • fuels
  • kraft
  • wood
  • purification
  • valorization

Cite this

Strassberger, Z. ; Prinsen, P. ; van der Klis, F. ; van Es, D.S. ; Tanase, S. ; Rothenberg, G. / Lignin solubilisation and gentle fractionation in liquid ammonia. In: Green Chemistry. 2015 ; Vol. 17. pp. 325-334.
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Lignin solubilisation and gentle fractionation in liquid ammonia. / Strassberger, Z.; Prinsen, P.; van der Klis, F.; van Es, D.S.; Tanase, S.; Rothenberg, G.

In: Green Chemistry, Vol. 17, 2015, p. 325-334.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Lignin solubilisation and gentle fractionation in liquid ammonia

AU - Strassberger, Z.

AU - Prinsen, P.

AU - van der Klis, F.

AU - van Es, D.S.

AU - Tanase, S.

AU - Rothenberg, G.

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N2 - We present a simple method for solubilising lignin using liquid ammonia. Unlike water, which requires harsh conditions, ammonia can solubilise technical lignins, in particular kraft lignin. A commercial pine wood Kraft lignin (Indulin AT) was solubilized instantaneously at room temperature and 7–11 bars autogeneous pressure, while a commercial mixed wheat straw/Sarkanda grass soda lignin (Protobind™ 1000) was solubilized within 3 h at ambient temperature, and 30 min at. 85 °C. Hydroxide salts were not required. Wheat straw, poplar and spruce organosolv lignins, as well as elephant grass native lignin (MWL) were also solubilized, albeit at lower values. Different sequences of solubilisation and extraction were tested on the Protobind™ 1000 lignin. The remaining lignin residues were characterized by FTIR, size exclusion chromatography (SEC), elemental analysis (ICP), 2D-NMR and 31P NMR. Liquid ammonia is not an innocent solvent, as some nitrogen was incorporated in the residual lignin which then rearranged to higher molecular weight fractions. Nevertheless, the mild solubilisation conditions make liquid ammonia an attractive candidate as a solvent for lignin in future biorefinery processes.

AB - We present a simple method for solubilising lignin using liquid ammonia. Unlike water, which requires harsh conditions, ammonia can solubilise technical lignins, in particular kraft lignin. A commercial pine wood Kraft lignin (Indulin AT) was solubilized instantaneously at room temperature and 7–11 bars autogeneous pressure, while a commercial mixed wheat straw/Sarkanda grass soda lignin (Protobind™ 1000) was solubilized within 3 h at ambient temperature, and 30 min at. 85 °C. Hydroxide salts were not required. Wheat straw, poplar and spruce organosolv lignins, as well as elephant grass native lignin (MWL) were also solubilized, albeit at lower values. Different sequences of solubilisation and extraction were tested on the Protobind™ 1000 lignin. The remaining lignin residues were characterized by FTIR, size exclusion chromatography (SEC), elemental analysis (ICP), 2D-NMR and 31P NMR. Liquid ammonia is not an innocent solvent, as some nitrogen was incorporated in the residual lignin which then rearranged to higher molecular weight fractions. Nevertheless, the mild solubilisation conditions make liquid ammonia an attractive candidate as a solvent for lignin in future biorefinery processes.

KW - technical lignins

KW - renewable chemicals

KW - catalysts

KW - extraction

KW - conversion

KW - fuels

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KW - wood

KW - purification

KW - valorization

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