Optimization of a formic/acetic acid delignification treatment on beech wood and its influence on the structural characteristics of the extracted lignins

Authors

  • Mathilde Simon,

    1. Department of Industrial Biological Chemistry, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege, Gembloux, Belgium
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  • Yves Brostaux,

    1. Department of Applied Statistics, Computer Science and Mathematics, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege, Gembloux, Belgium
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  • Caroline Vanderghem,

    1. Department of Industrial Biological Chemistry, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege, Gembloux, Belgium
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  • Benoit Jourez,

    1. Laboratory of Wood Technology, Direction of Forest Environment, Department of Natural and Agricultural Environment Studies, Public Service of Wallonia, Gembloux, Belgium
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  • Michel Paquot,

    1. Department of Industrial Biological Chemistry, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege, Gembloux, Belgium
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  • Aurore Richel

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Industrial Biological Chemistry, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege, Gembloux, Belgium
    • Correspondence to: Aurore Richel, Department of Industrial Biological Chemistry, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege, Passage des Déportés 2, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium. Email: a.richel@ulg.ac.be

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Abstract

Background

In order to replace petrochemicals by bio-based lignin products in high value-added applications, a formic/acetic acid treatment was adapted to beech wood (Fagus sylvatica L.) for lignin extraction.

Results

Beech wood particles were delignified at atmospheric pressure by a formic acid/acetic acid/water mixture. Cooking time and temperature were optimized for delignification, pulp yield and 2-furfural concentration. Response surface design analysis revealed that delignification yield increased with cooking time and temperature.

Conclusion

The multi-criteria optimization of delignification was used to find the ideal cooking conditions (5 h 07 min, 104.2 °C) to maximize delignification (70.5%) and pulp yield (58.7%) and, to a lesser extent, minimize 2-furfural production. Treatment conditions were found to influence the chemical structure of extracted lignins. Cooking time and temperature inversely influenced lignin molecular weights. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry

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