Hydrotropic fractionation of birch wood into cellulose and lignin: a new step towards green biorefinery

Konstantin Gabov, Pedro Fardim, Francides Gomes da Silva Júnior

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    22 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Hydrotropic treatment is an attractive process that uses water-soluble and environmentally friendly chemicals. Currently, this method is practically unexploited on a large scale due to the long treatment times required. In this study, the hydrotropic process was modified by the addition of hydrogen peroxide, formic acid, or both. The modified treatments were more selective than the reference, and the pulps obtained using the modified treatments had lower lignin contents. After bleaching, the resultant pulps were comparable to dissolving pulps with respect to the content of hemicelluloses and viscosity. Cellulose solutions were successfully obtained in a 7% NaOH/12% urea aqueous solvent after pretreating the bleached pulp with a HCl/EtOH mixture. Hydrotropic lignin was recovered from the spent solution by precipitation in water. The lignin had very low contents of carbohydrates and sulphur. The preliminary results show that a hydrotropic process can be used for such biorefinery applications as fractionation of fibres, cellulose polymer, and lignin from birch wood. The green cellulose and lignin biopolymers can potentially be used for shaping biomaterials or production of bio-based chemicals.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)3518–3531
    JournalBioResources
    Volume8
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • Hydrotropic treatment
    • Sodium xylenesulphonate
    • Birch wood
    • Hydrotropic lignin
    • Hydrotropic pulp

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