Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.122, 24-33, 2015
[C(4)H(8)SO(3)Hmim]HSO4 as an efficient catalyst for direct liquefaction of bagasse lignin: Decomposition properties of the inner structural units
Catalytic valorization of renewable aromatic lignin is attracting increasing attention. In this study, an efficient method for direct liquefaction of sugarcane bagasse lignin using acidic ionic liquid (IL) 1-(4-sulfobutyl)-3-methyl imidazolium hydrosulfate ([C(4)H(8)SO(3)Hmim]HSO4) is presented. The relationships between catalyst dosage, reaction condition parameters and degree of liquefaction, and the structure and elemental composition of liquefaction residue were investigated. The transformation performances of three molecular structural units (guaiacyl, syringyl, and hydroxyphenyl units) of bagasse lignin were also intensively examined using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, elemental analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, and proton nuclear magnetic resonance characterization. The results demonstrated that the dual-functionalized acidic IL exhibited excellent catalytic performance in the direct liquefaction process. More than 65% degree of liquefaction was achieved under optimized conditions, yielding 13.5% of useful aromatic fine chemicals such as phenol, 4-ethylphenol, and guaiacol. The p-hydroxyphenyl unit of lignin was the most flexible, followed by the guaiacyl unit, whereas the syringyl group was the most refractory. Furthermore, the catalytic mechanism was proposed. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.