Solvent free depolymerization of Kraft lignin to alkyl-phenolics using supported NiMo and CoMo catalysts†
The catalytic hydrotreatment of Kraft lignin using sulfided NiMo and CoMo catalysts on different acidic and basic supports (Al2O3, ZSM-5, activated carbon (AC) and MgO-La2O3) was studied in the absence of a solvent. Experiments were carried out in a batch set-up at a reaction temperature of 350 °C, 4 h and 100 bar initial H2 pressure. The catalysts before and after reaction were characterized by X-ray diffraction, temperature programmed desorption of ammonia/CO2, BET surface area and scanning electron microscopy. The liquid products were fractionated and analyzed extensively by different techniques such as GPC, GC-MS-FID, GC-TCD, FT-IR, 13C-NMR and elemental analyses. Two dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC-FID) was applied to identify distinct groups of compounds (aromatics, alkylphenolics, alkanes) after reaction, and product quantification was performed based on this method. Catalyst activity is a function of the support and increased in the order Al2O3 < ZSM-5 < AC = MgO-La2O3. In addition, the support also largely influenced the extent of depolymerization and monomer yield. The highest lignin oil yields were obtained using the sulfided NiMo supported on activated carbon and MgO-La2O3. The highest total monomer yield 26.4 wt% on lignin intake, which included 15.7 wt% alkyl-phenolics was obtained using the sulfided NiMo/MgO-La2O3 catalyst.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Lignin chemistry and valorisation