RAPID DELIGNIFICATION OF WOOD AT 80 °C USING AN EASILY RECYCLABLE HYDROTROPIC ACID: POTENTIAL FOR PULP PRODUCTION, 2017PEERS



Here we report the discovery of the hydrotropic properties of a recyclable aromatic acid, p-toluenesulfonic acid (p-TsOH), for low-cost and efficient fractionation of wood through rapid and near-complete dissolution of lignin. Approximately 85% of birch wood lignin can be dissolved at 80°C in 20 min. Equivalent delignification using known hydrotropes, such as aromatic salts, can only be achieved at 150°C or higher for over 10 h, or at 160°C for 2 h using alkaline pulping. The p-TsOH fractionated wood into: (1) a primarily carbohydrate-rich water-insoluble solid fraction that can be used for sustainable production of certain grades of pulp, such as dissolving or corrugated medium pulps, and (2) a spent acid liquor stream containing mainly dissolved lignin that can be easily precipitated as lignin nanoparticles simply by diluting the spent acid liquor to below the minimal hydrotrope concentration. p-TsOH is a solid acid , which facilitates efficient recovery simply using mature crystallization technology by cooling re-concentrated spent acid solution after lignin separation to ambient temperatures to achieve environmental sustainability.   

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Author: Qianli Ma, Huiyang Bian , Liheng Chen, Rolland Gleisner, and J. Y. Zhu
RAPID DELIGNIFICATION OF WOOD AT 80 °C USING AN EASILY RECYC
RAPID DELIGNIFICATION OF WOOD AT 80 °C USING AN EASILY RECYCLABLE HYDROTROPIC ACID: POTENTIAL FOR PULP PRODUCTION, 2017PEERS
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