Lignin and ash material balances of SO2-ethanol–water (AVAP®) fractionation of sugarcane (SC) straw were thoroughly studied at various conditions. Most of straw lignin and ash dissolve in the liquor and 40–80% of lignin is precipitated after ethanol removal as a pure (∼99%) and sulfur-lean (<2%) fraction. Most of the acid-soluble ash and its elements (Na, K, Fe, Al) as well as large portion of silica are removed from the fiber phase. Straw lignin behavior exhibited differences compared to wood lignin including high apparent content in fiber, higher degree of sulfonation of dissolved lignin, and dense char-like precipitate formation upon ethanol removal. Variation in fractionation conditions did not have significant effect on lignin properties, while post-sulfonation was capable of changing its form from char-like to colloidal precipitate.
- AVAP® process
- Mass balance
- SO-ethanol–water fractionation
- Sugarcane straw