Lignin depolymerization to monophenolic compounds in a flow-through system
A reductive lignocellulose fractionation in a flow-through system in which pulping and transfer hydrogenolysis steps were separated in time and space has been developed. Without the hydrogenolysis step or addition of trapping agents to the pulping, it is possible to obtain partially depolymerized lignin (21 wt% monophenolic compounds) that is prone to further processing. By applying a transfer hydrogenolysis step 37 wt% yield of lignin derived monophenolic compounds was obtained. Pulp generated in the process was enzymatically hydrolyzed to glucose in 87 wt% yield without prior purification.