Recent tests in a pilot plant at Chalmers have shown that Kraft lignin in a catalytic process in water during near supercritical conditions may be converted to aromatic bio-oil (60%) and water soluble aromatic monomers (20%). The conditions were not optimal, but the results still show that lignin can be converted to a low-sulfur bio-oil suitable for further processing to aromatic speciality chemicals of high value. The initial potential has been estimated to 7 TWh / year for lignin and the aim with the project is a process integrated with a pulp mill for depolymerization of lignin only using chemicals that normally are used in the pulp process (e.g. Na and K), or are byproducts (e.g. methanol) or are products generated internally in the process (e.g. fenol). To make such a development possible a research project is proposed including several institutions for further process development and identification of reaction mechanisms.
Professor vid Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology, Forest Products and Chemical Engineering
Funding Chalmers participation during 2015–2017