Hydrothermolysis of organosolv lignin for the production of bio-oil rich in monoaromatic phenolic compounds

Syed Farhan Hashmi, Heidi Meriö-Talvio, Kati Johanna Hakonen, Kyösti Ruuttunen, Herbert Sixta

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Bio-oils rich in monoaromatic phenolic compounds were produced by a hydrothermal treatment in a batch reactor from organosolv lignin derived from beech wood. Reaction temperatures and times were varied (270–350 °C and 10–120 min, respectively). Increase in the temperature at a particular reaction time had a positive impact on the bio-oil yields, which varied from 8.0 wt% to 14.6 wt%, based on the original amount of dry lignin. GC–MS analysis of bio-oils revealed that the yields of monoaromatic compounds ranged from 22 to 65 wt% of bio-oil depending on the reaction conditions. Syringol (8.9–22.8 wt% of bio-oil), guaiacol (2.6–9.3 wt% of bio-oil), pyrocatechol (0–12.4 wt% of bio-oil), 3-methoxycatechol (0–21 wt% of bio-oil), 4-methylsyringol (0.5–5.9 wt% of bio-oil), and syringaldehyde (0–9 wt% of bio-oil) were identified as the major aromatic compounds. In addition to bio-oil, gaseous components, water solubles, char, and undegraded lignin were formed in the experiments. The mass balances of the experiments were constructed. The results show that monoaromatics can be produced at a moderate yield through uncatalysed lignin hydrothermolysis; char formation remains as an obstacle, however, and its prevention calls for the usage of catalysts and/or organic solvents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bio-oil
  • Hydrothermal degradation
  • Lignin
  • Monoaromatics


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