'Lignin and extractives first' conversion of lignocellulosic residual streams using UV light from LEDs
Journal article, 2021

Lignocellulosic biomass, especially lignin and extractives, has the potential to substitute fossil precursors in the chemical industry. The conversion of lignin has been intensively researched, but challenges remain as high temperatures and increased pressure are commonly used, which is not energy efficient. Lignin and wood extractives bear chromophoric groups that can absorb light in the ultraviolet (UV) region, which enables photochemical reactions. Ultraviolet light emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) are an emerging technology; they are cheap, versatile, and energy-efficient compared to existing mercury lamps. UV-LEDs were used in this study as a proof of concept for the valorisation of a lignocellulosic residual stream from the pulp and paper industry, sawdust. In a process at ambient temperature and pressure and without the use of a catalyst, we have shown that lignin and extractives can be valorised using light from UV-LEDs. Simplified lignin model compounds were used to pinpoint chemical reactions during irradiation, and to ease the analysis of the sawdust samples. The rate of conversion upon irradiation of the model compounds was found to be 0.7-2.3 g L-1 h(-1), depending on the concentration of the starting compounds.


Jonna Hynynen

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Alexander Michael Riddell

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Abdenour Achour

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Zoltan Takacs

University of Gothenburg

Mats Wallin


Jim Parkas


Diana Bernin

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Green Chemistry

1463-9262 (ISSN) 1463-9270 (eISSN)

Vol. 23 20 8251-8259

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Swedish Research Council (VR) (2019-04066), 2020-01-01 -- 2023-12-31.

Subject Categories

Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology

Chemical Process Engineering




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