Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 9, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

New insights into the structure and composition of technical lignins: a comparative characterisation study

Author affiliations

Abstract

Detailed insight into the structure and composition of industrial (technical) lignins is needed to devise efficient thermal, bio- or chemocatalytic valorisation strategies. Six such technical lignins covering three main industrial pulping methods (Indulin AT Kraft, Protobind 1000 soda lignin and Alcell, poplar, spruce and wheat straw organosolv lignins) were comprehensively characterised by lignin composition analysis, FT-IR, pyrolysis-GC-MS, quantitative 31P and 2D HSQC NMR analysis and molar mass distribution by Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC). A comparison of nine SEC methods, including the first analysis of lignins with commercial alkaline SEC columns, showed molar masses to vary considerably, allowing some recommendations to be made. The lignin molar mass decreased in the order: Indulin Kraft > soda P1000 > Alcell > OS-W ∼ OS-P ∼ OS-S, regardless of the SEC method chosen. Structural identification and quantification of aromatic units and inter-unit linkages indicated that all technical lignins, including the organosolv ones, have considerably been degraded and condensed by the pulping process. Importantly, low amounts of β- ether linkages were found compared to literature values for protolignin and lignins obtained by other, milder isolation processes. Stilbenes and ether furfural units could also be identified in some of the lignins. Taken together, the insights gained in the structure of the technical lignins, in particular, the low β-O-4 contents, carry implications for the design of lignin valorisation strategies including (catalytic) depolymerisation and material applications.

Graphical abstract: New insights into the structure and composition of technical lignins: a comparative characterisation study

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 21 Dec 2015, accepted on 29 Jan 2016 and first published on 10 Feb 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC03043A
Citation: Green Chem., 2016,18, 2651-2665
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
  •   Request permissions

    New insights into the structure and composition of technical lignins: a comparative characterisation study

    S. Constant, H. L. J. Wienk, A. E. Frissen, P. D. Peinder, R. Boelens, D. S. van Es, R. J. H. Grisel, B. M. Weckhuysen, W. J. J. Huijgen, R. J. A. Gosselink and P. C. A. Bruijnincx, Green Chem., 2016, 18, 2651
    DOI: 10.1039/C5GC03043A

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements