Oxidative Valorization of Lignin
Lignin, an aromatic macromolecule synthesized by all higher plants, is one of the most intriguing natural materials for utilization across a wide range of applications. Investigations towards deciphering its biosynthesis pathways, elucidating its precise macromolecular structure, and identifying possible valorization approaches have formed the core of lignin research over the past century. While we have come far in our understanding of lignin, several key challenges remain unsolved, preventing us from realizing its full commercial potential. This chapter presents a rationale for applying oxidative chemistry toward lignin depolymerization and valorization, summarizes its current research status, and provides some future directions worthy of exploration.