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Bioresour Technol. 2011 Aug;102(16):7608-11. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.05.040. Epub 2011 May 27.

Mild hydrogenolysis of in-situ and isolated Pinus radiata lignins.

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Scion, Private Bag 3020, Rotorua 3046, New Zealand.


The Pd/C-catalysed hydrogenolysis of in-situ and isolated lignins from Pinus radiata wood was investigated to gain a more complete understanding of the factors affecting yield and composition of the hydrogenolysis products. Such hydrogenolysis products could potentially be refined into aromatic feedstock chemicals providing sustainable alternatives to petroleum-derived phenols. Lignins were converted into solvent-soluble oils composed of monomeric, dimeric and oligomeric products in high yields, up to 89% of the original lignin. The main monomer products were dihydroconiferyl alcohol and 4-n-propyl guaiacol. Dimeric and oligomeric compounds constituted 75% of the hydrogenolysis oils and were mainly composed of dihydroconiferyl alcohol and 4-n-propyl guaiacol units linked by β-5, 5-5, 4-O-5 and β-1 linkages. Hydrogenolysis of steam exploded wood gave lower yields of lignin hydrogenolysis products compared to unmodified wood due to fewer reactive aryl-ether linkages in the lignin.

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