Bioresource Technology, Vol.284, 105-114, 2019
Production of carboxylic acids from the non-lignin residue of black liquor by hydrothermal treatments
The present study assesses, for the first time, the use of the non-lignin residue from Kraft black liquor as a renewable source of carboxylic acids. For this purpose, the liquid fraction obtained after separating the lignin from the black liquor by acid precipitation was subjected to different hydrothermal treatments. It was found that the formation of carboxylic acids can be maximized at 190 degrees C, 70 bar and under an inert atmosphere, with concentrations after 2 h of 29.0 g/L of oxalic acid, 1.8 g/L of malic acid, 10.0 g/L of lactic acid, 4.1 g/L of formic acid, 11.8 g/L of acetic acid and 3.4 g/L of propionic acid. The presence of an oxidizing atmosphere generated a less concentrated, but more purified, stream of acids than that obtained by thermal hydrolysis, simplifying the subsequent downstream processing.