Solubility of Organosolv Lignin in γ-Valerolactone/Water Binary Mixtures

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The solubility of lignin in a mixture of γ-valerolactone (GVL) and water at different weight ratios was measured using the Hildebrand solubility parameters. Based on the molecular structure of lignin, its solubility parameter (δ-value) was calculated as 25.5 MPa1/2. The δ-value for aqueous GVL solvent increased from 23.1 MPa1/2 for pure GVL to 45.6 MPa1/2 for pure water. Therefore, the lignin solubility was predicted to increase with increasing GVL concentration in the aqueous mixture up to approximately 92–96 wt % of GVL. A ternary diagram describing the phase behavior of water–GVL–lignin mixtures at room temperature was constructed based on the experimental results. The three-component system exhibited a complex behavior with a liquid–liquid and solid–liquid–liquid phase split. The efficiency of the selected fractionation trials in a previous work was validated using the ternary solubility diagram. A promising recovery pathway and lignin isolation method were deduced from the results of this work.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2939 - 2947
Number of pages9
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Gamma-valerolactone, Hildebrand parameters, Organosolv lignin, Solubility

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