Novel Deep Eutectic Solvent for Native Lignin Extraction Through Heterocycle Induced Interaction

Primary author: Kuan-Ting Lin
Faculty sponsor: Dr. Xiao Zhang

Primary college/unit: Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Campus: Tri-Cities


Plant biomass, constructed by lignocellulose, is the largest renewable source for biofuel and bioproducts to replace petroleum products. To facilitate the process of lignocellulose to product, fractionation of lignocellulose is performed as the primary step to improve carbohydrate utilization, and isolate lignin for valorization. Current industrial pretreatment and/or pulping approach apply harsh processing conditions to extract lignin from the biomass matrix. In these harsh conditions, lignin-carbohydrate complexes are not completely broken, resulting in a significant amount of residual saccharides and process chemicals. Deep eutectic solvent (DES) is a promising alternative method to effectively extract lignin from lignocellulosic biomass. Previous studies have shown DES generally yielded good lignin purity and yield. Although DES extracted lignins are relatively pure, the process is known for acid hydrolysis of the ether linkages in lignin which caused a large degree of structural changed. In this study, we hypothesized that design a DES with heterocycles enable a selective extraction of lignin from plant biomass, meanwhile the function of HBD under different reaction condition control the cleavage of ether linkages that produce lignin with tailor structural properties (ether linkage and depolymerization).