Lignin depolymerization and catalytic conversion to ...

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GRØN DYST 2012 Technical University of Denmark

Lignin depolymerization and catalytic conversion to liquid fuels
Paper
Author:A. Gørløv (DTU Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
A. T. Hofer (DTU Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Date: 2012-06-22     Track: Main     Session: 1

INTRODUCTION Lignin received from DONG Energy’s refinery needs to be depolymerized for valorization. The depolymerization was carried out in a batch reactor with elevated temperature and high hydrogen pressure. These yielded conversions up to 84 % and with methanol as the main product. THEORY In recent years there has been a lot of focus on bringing down CO2 emissions and being independent of fossil fuels. A solution to this is to use biofuel. 2nd generation biofuels are based on lignocellulosic biomass which is found in various amounts in almost all plant material. This consists mainly of three compounds cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. To valorize 2nd generation biofuels it will be necessary to find a way to utilize lignin to its full potential. METHODS It is the objective of this project to contribute to the development of a process through which lignin from bio-refineries can be converted into high value added products such as liquid fuels and chemicals. The experiments are conducted in a high pressure batch reactor at high temperatures under hydrogen pressure. A ruthenium catalyst is used to find optimal conditions by varying pressure, residence time and temperature. It is thought to investigate different catalysts later on. RESULTS CONCLUSION It is possible to convert the lignin received from DONG Energy in satisfactory amount. The main product is methanol but further measurements are necessary to quantify this. This is a great result although a distillation is needed to isolate the methanol.