Heterogeneously Catalysed Mild Hydrogenolytic Depolymerisation of Lignin Under Microwave Irradiation with Hydrogen-Donating Solvents

Authors

  • Ana Toledano,

    1. Environmental and Chemical Engineering Department, University of the Basque Country, Plaza Europa, 1, 20018, Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain), Fax: (+34) 94301714
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  • Prof. Luis Serrano,

    1. Environmental and Chemical Engineering Department, University of the Basque Country, Plaza Europa, 1, 20018, Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain), Fax: (+34) 94301714
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  • Dr. Jalel Labidi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Environmental and Chemical Engineering Department, University of the Basque Country, Plaza Europa, 1, 20018, Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain), Fax: (+34) 94301714
    • Environmental and Chemical Engineering Department, University of the Basque Country, Plaza Europa, 1, 20018, Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain), Fax: (+34) 94301714
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  • Antonio Pineda,

    1. Departamento de Quimica Organica, Universidad de Cordoba, Campus de Rabanales, Edificio Marie Curie (C-3), Ctra Nnal IV-A, Km 396, E-14014, Cordoba (Spain), Fax: (+34) 957212066
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  • Alina Mariana Balu,

    1. Departamento de Quimica Organica, Universidad de Cordoba, Campus de Rabanales, Edificio Marie Curie (C-3), Ctra Nnal IV-A, Km 396, E-14014, Cordoba (Spain), Fax: (+34) 957212066
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  • Prof. Rafael Luque

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Quimica Organica, Universidad de Cordoba, Campus de Rabanales, Edificio Marie Curie (C-3), Ctra Nnal IV-A, Km 396, E-14014, Cordoba (Spain), Fax: (+34) 957212066
    • Departamento de Quimica Organica, Universidad de Cordoba, Campus de Rabanales, Edificio Marie Curie (C-3), Ctra Nnal IV-A, Km 396, E-14014, Cordoba (Spain), Fax: (+34) 957212066
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Abstract

A series of hydrogen-donating solvents have been investigated in lignin depolymerisation practices by using a mild, microwave-assisted, hydrogen-free, hydrogenolytic approach promoted by the use of in situ hydrogen generating reagents with Ni 10 % Al-SBA-15 as a heterogeneous catalyst. Selected solvents were tetralin, isopropanol, glycerol and formic acid. Final identified products, namely bio-oil, biochar and residual lignin were characterised by using GC–MS, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry and high-performance size-exclusion chromatography to evaluate the extension of the hydrogenolytic process. Interestingly, the obtained phenolic monomeric products were found to be remarkably affected by the type of hydrogen-donating solvent, with the best results obtained with formic acid, a potentially renewable derived solvent, which unexpectedly provided no biochar as compared to a maximum of 38 % obtained for tetralin. The reported protocol constitutes another step towards the development of fully sustainable and “green” methodologies of low environmental impact for lignin depolymerisation.

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