Lignin Extraction by Using Two-Step Fractionation: A Review

11 April 2024

Medya Hatun Tanis, Ola Wallberg, Mats Galbe and Basel Al-Rudainy
Department of Chemical Engineering, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Molecules 2024, 29(1), 98

Open Access publication related to CESTAP Work Package 2.

Keywords: two-step pretreatment; lignin extraction; fractionation

Lignocellulosic biomass represents the most abundant renewable carbon source on earth and is already used for energy and biofuel production. The pivotal step in the conversion process involving lignocellulosic biomass is pretreatment, which aims to disrupt the lignocellulose matrix. For effective pretreatment, a comprehensive understanding of the intricate structure of lignocellulose and its compositional properties during component disintegration and subsequent conversion is essential. The presence of lignin-carbohydrate complexes and covalent interactions between them within the lignocellulosic matrix confers a distinctively labile nature to hemicellulose. Meanwhile, the recalcitrant characteristics of lignin pose challenges in the fractionation process, particularly during delignification. Delignification is a critical step that directly impacts the purity of lignin and facilitates the breakdown of bonds involving lignin and lignin-carbohydrate complexes surrounding cellulose. This article discusses a two-step fractionation approach for efficient lignin extraction, providing viable paths for lignin-based valorization described in the literature. This approach allows for the creation of individual process streams for each component, tailored to extract their corresponding compounds.