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Acid-catalysed ?-O-4 aryl-ether bond cleavage in methanol/(aqueous) ethanol: understanding depolymerisation of a lignin model compound during organosolv pretreatment volume 10
, Article number: 11037 (2020) Cite this article
AbstractThe selective lignin conversion into bio-based organic mono-aromatics is a major general challenge due to complex structure itself/additional macromolecule modifications, caused by the cleavage of the ether chemical bonds during the lignocellulosic biomass organosolv pulping in acidified aqueous ethanol. Herein, the acido-lysis of connected benzyl phenyl (BPE), being a representative model compound with ?-O-4 linkage, was investigated in methanol, EtOH and 75 vol% EtOH/water mixture solutions, progressing each time with protonating sulfuric acid. The effect of the physical solvent properties, acidity of the reaction process media and temperature on rate was determined. Experiments suggested BPE following SN1 mechanism due to the formation of a stable primary carbocation/polarity. The product species distribution in non-aqueous functional alcohols was strongly affected. The addition of H2O was advantageous, especially for alkoxylation. Yield was reduced by a factor of 3, consequently preserving reactive hydroxyl group. Quantitative experimental results indicated key performance parameters to achieve optimum. Organosolv lignins were further isolated under significantly moderate conditions. Consecutive structural differences observed supported findings, obtained when using BPE. H2O presence was again found to grant a higher measured –OH content. Mechanistic pathway analysis thus represents the first step when continuing to kinetics, structure–activity relationships or bio-refining industrial resources.