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Fractionation of Organosolv Lignin from Olive Tree Clippings and its Valorization to Simple Phenolic Compounds

Authors

  • Dr. 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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  • Dr. 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. 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, 14014 Cordoba (Spain), Fax: (+34) 957212066
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  • Dr. 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, 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, 14014 Cordoba (Spain), Fax: (+34) 957212066
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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, 14014 Cordoba (Spain), Fax: (+34) 957212066
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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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Abstract

Lignin valorization practices have attracted a great deal of interest in recent years due to the large excess of lignin produced by the pulp and paper industry, together with second-generation bioethanol plants. In this work, a new lignin valorization approach is proposed. It involves ultrafiltration as a fractionation process to separate different molecular weight lignin fractions followed by a hydrogen-free, mild, hydrogenolytic, heterogeneously catalyzed methodology assisted by microwave irradiation to obtain simple phenolic, monomeric products by depolymerization using a nickel-based catalyst. The main products obtained were desaspidinol, syringaldehyde, and syringol; this proves the efficiency of the depolymerization conditions applied. The concentration of these observed compounds increased when the molecular weights of the lignin fractions increased. The applied depolymerization conditions, which take advantage of the use of formic acid as a hydrogen-donating solvent, did not generate any biochar in the systems.

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