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The dissolution and solvolysis processes of enzymatic hydrolysis lignin (EHL) in ethylene glycol are investigated. Ethylene glycol exhibits high EHL solubility and achieves complete EHL dissolution at room temperature. Gaussian simulation reveals that van de Waals interactions between ethylene glycol and EHL, including C-H⋯O and lone pair⋯π interactions, break the π-π stacking in EHL, achieving complete EHL dissolution. EHL is partly depolymerized in ethylene glycol at 200 °C even without a catalyst due to the strong van de Waals interactions. When NaOH and Ni are used as co-catalysts, EHL is efficiently depolymerized at 200 °C, and the overall monomer yield reaches 18.8 wt%. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and molecular dynamics simulation results indicate that the adsorption of ethylene glycol over Ni surface hinders the adsorption of lignin fragments and monomers. Hence, EHL catalytic solvolysis in ethylene glycol occurs in the liquid phase, where OH− of NaOH promotes the EHL linkage breakage and active hydrogen atoms formed on Ni surface stabilize the active monomers.
- Ethylene glycol
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New Findings from Aalto University in the Area of Chemicals and Chemistry Described (Enzymatic Hydrolysis Lignin Dissolution and Low-temperature Solvolysis In Ethylene Glycol)
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