University of Oulu

Goldmann, W.M., Anthonykutty, J.M., Ahola, J. et al. Effect of Process Variables on the Solvolysis Depolymerization of Pine Kraft Lignin. Waste Biomass Valor 11, 3195–3206 (2020).

Effect of process variables on the solvolysis depolymerization of pine kraft lignin

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Author: Goldmann, Werner Marcelo1; Anthonykutty, Jinto Manjaly1; Ahola, Juha1;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Technology, Chemical Process Engineering, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2NMR Research Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-02-25


Lignin modification opens the possibility of using it in polyol bio-based polymers, such as phenol–formaldehyde resins, polyurethanes, composites, and binders. Pine kraft lignin Indulin AT was partially depolymerized and the resulting products analyzed to determine their degree of valorization. Depolymerized lignin products were analyzed by GPC-SEC (molar mass), ∆ε-IDUS (phenolic hydroxyls), HACL (formaldehyde uptake), 13C-NMR (hydroxyl and methoxyl groups), and 1H-DOSY (molar mass distribution). The dominant parameter in lignin depolymerization by solvolysis was reaction temperature. According to the results, a higher reaction temperature decreases the average molar masses and PDI of lignin as well as the primary and secondary aliphatic hydroxyls, while simultaneously increasing the phenolic hydroxyls and formaldehyde uptake of lignin. Other variables (time, formic acid wt %, ethanol wt %, lignin load) had lesser effects. Partial depolymerization by solvolysis in mild conditions without catalyst is a viable valorization route for lignin, by which lignin properties can be significantly improved.

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Series: Waste and biomass valorization
ISSN: 1877-2641
ISSN-E: 1877-265X
ISSN-L: 1877-2641
Volume: 11
Pages: 3195 - 3206
DOI: 10.1007/s12649-019-00701-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. The work was carried out thanks to TEKES funded project PheRes (Dnr 1357/31/2015). V.-V.T. and S.K. thank the European Research Council (ERC) under Horizon 2020 (H2020/2018–2022/ERC Grant Agreement No. 772110) and Academy of Finland (Grants #289649 and 294027) for the financial support.
EU Grant Number: (772110) UFLNMR - Ultrafast Laplace NMR
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 289649
Detailed Information: 289649 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
294027 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.