Pyrolysis oils from CO2 precipitated Kraft lignin
Journal article, 2011
A common goal in present and future forestry, biofuels and biomaterials practices, is the need to valorize lignocellulose processes to maximize value and optimize autonomic economy. Consequently, a key focus of modern biorefining is the on-site utilization of all residual materials generating products of the highest possible value. The LignoBoost process, recently demonstrated on the pilot-scale at Kraft pulp mills, injects CO(2) into pulping liquors which results in a lower solution pH and thereby precipitates lignin. The present paper compares and evaluates the pyrolysis of pulping liquor lignins precipitated by sulfuric acid (pH 3) and the aforementioned CO(2) method (pH 10.5 and 9.5). The CO(2) based process yielded lignin that showed superior pyrolysis properties including low gas formation and increased bio-oil yields, close to 40%, consisting primarily of low (similar to 150 g mol(-1)) molecular weight compounds. Subsequent NMR analysis showed that the oils exhibit favorable changes in functionalities, e. g. loss of aromatic and gain in aliphatic carbon percentages as well as decrease in carboxyl and methoxyl (oxygen containing) groups. Moreover, NMR results further confirmed previously hypothesized lignin pyrolysis reactions, while at the same time showed the potential of CO(2) precipitated lignin for pyrolysis and subsequent liquid biofuel production.