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Bioresour Technol. 2009 Jun;100(12):3143-6. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2009.01.057. Epub 2009 Mar 3.

Microwave driven wood liquefaction with glycols.

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  • 1National Institute of Chemistry, Laboratory for Polymer Chemistry and Technology, Hajdrihova 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Wood liquefaction with glycols using p-toluenesulfonic acid as the catalyst was carried out under microwave heating. With rapid heating and temperatures in the 190-210 degrees C range complete liquefaction was achieved in 7 min. Liquefaction efficiency was dependent on the choice of glycol. Simple glycols such as ethylene glycol and propylene glycol were more effective than higher analogues. The use of glycerol in mixtures with glycols showed a synergistic effect. Size exclusion chromatography was used to follow the gradual emergence of liquefaction products in solution as well as the recondensation products that start forming early in the reaction and precipitate from solution when molar masses of approx. 1x10(4) g/mol are reached.

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