NC State
Mondal, A. K., Qin, C., Ragauskas, A. J., Ni, Y., and Huang, F. (2021). "Effect of using regenerated combined FAU and MOR zeolites as catalysts during the pyrolysis of kraft lignin," BioResources 16(1), 417-440.


The SiO2/Al2O3 mole ratio, pore size, and acid sites are the key parameters of zeolite’s activity in lignin pyrolysis. In this study, the comparison of individual Y and M zeolites, the combined ‘Y + M’ sample after regeneration, and their effect on lignin pyrolysis were studied in five cycles (regeneration and reuse). The results were explained using Brunauer, Emmet, and Teller (BET), micropore surface area (MSA), and total acid sites (TAS) analyses. In comparison with the individual Y or M zeolite sample, the consistent higher catalytic activities of the combined ‘Y + M’ sample in repeated cycles were observed. Pyrolysis heavy oils were characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The NMR analyses revealed that with increased zeolite regeneration cycles, p-hydroxy phenyl and methoxyl groups increased. Decreases in guaiacyl phenolic hydroxyl were less for the combined ‘Y + M’ sample than the individual Y and M zeolites. Lower weight average (Mw) of heavy oil for the combined ‘Y + M’ sample indicated the enhanced cleavage of lignin structures in pyrolysis. These results support the higher catalytic activity of regenerated zeolites for the combined ‘Y + M’ sample compared with individual Y and M zeolites due to the improved MSA and TAS.

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