Depolymerization of organosolv lignin using doped porous metal oxides in supercritical methanol

Genoa Warner, Thomas S. Hansen, Anders Riisager, Evan S. Beach, Katalin Barta, Paul T. Anastas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


An isolated, solvent-extracted lignin from candlenut (Aleurites moluccana) biomass was subjected to catalytic depolymerization in the presence of supercritical methanol, using a range of porous metal oxides derived from hydrotalcite-like precursors. The most effective catalysts in terms of lignin conversion to methanol-soluble products, without char formation, were based on copper in combination with other dopants based on relatively earth-abundant metals. Nearly complete conversion of lignin to bio-oil composed of monomers and low-mass oligomers with high aromatic content was obtained in 6. h at 310. °C using a catalyst based on a Cu- and La-doped hydrotalcite-like precursor. Product mixtures were characterized by NMR spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, and GC-MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


  • Bio-oil
  • Catalysis
  • Lignin
  • Porous metal oxides
  • Supercritical solvents


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