In this work, partial depolymerization of enzymolysis lignin collected from a woody biomass-to-ethanol process was studied via mild hydrogenolysis under the catalysis of Raney Ni. The depolymerized lignin products were low molecular weight oligomers with increased hydroxyl values. The solvent selected, use of base and various reaction parameters were all found to influence yield of depolymerization, the molecular weight and hydroxyl value of the hydrogenated product. The depolymerized lignins displayed greatly enhanced solubility in organic solvents, and therefore would have great potential to be used as feedstock for many valuable thermosetting polymer applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal