Lignin Recovery from Spent Alkaline Pulping Liquors Using Acidification, Membrane Separation, and Related Processing Steps: A Review

Martin A. Hubbe, Raimo Alén, Michael Paleologou, Miyuru Kannangara, Jonas Kihlman

Abstract


The separation of lignin from the black liquor generated during alkaline pulping is reviewed in this article with an emphasis on chemistry. Based on published accounts, the precipitation of lignin from spent pulping liquor by addition of acids can be understood based on dissociation equilibria of weak acid groups, which affects the solubility behavior of lignin-related chemical species. Solubility issues also govern lignin separation technologies based on ultrafiltration membranes; reduction in membrane permeability is often affected by conditions leading to decreased solubility of lignin decomposition products and the presence of colloidal matter. Advances in understanding of such phenomena have potential to enable higher-value uses of black liquor components, including biorefinery options, alternative ways to recover the chemicals used to cook pulp, and debottlenecking of kraft recovery processes.

Keywords


Black liquor; Acid precipitation; Ultrafiltration; Colloidal stability; Solubility; Debottlenecking of pulp mills; Carbon dioxide; Sulfuric acid; Lignin isolation

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126