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Zou, R., Zhao, Y., Wang, Y., Duan, D., Fan, L., Dai, L., Liu, Y., and Ruan, R. (2018). "Microwave-assisted depolymerization of lignin with metal chloride in a hydrochloric acid and formic acid system," BioRes. 13(2), 3704-3719.

Abstract

A microwave-assisted depolymerization method of lignin with various metal chloride catalysts (MgCl2, AlCl3, FeCl3, ZnCl2, and MnCl2) in a formic acid and hydrochloric acid system under mild conditions (160 °C for 30 min) was studied. The resulting bio-oil was identified by a gas chromatography-mass spectrometer, and the solid residue was analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Furthermore, the molecular weight change of lignin after the reaction was measured by gel permeation chromatography. The MnCl2 catalyzed lignin to produce most aromatic monomers, including approximately 23.0% G-type, 11.9% S-type, and 14.8% H-type monomer compounds. Different metal chloride catalysts had different effects on the depolymerization of lignin, which were embodied in the type and content of the products. It was also worth noting that the catalytic effects of transition metal chlorides on lignin may have been related to each chloride’s cation radius.

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