Using Solubility Parameter Analysis to Understand Delignification of Poplar and Rice Straw with Catalyzed Organosolv Fractionation Processes

Fangchao Cheng, Tulong Ouyang, Jianping Sun, Tao Jiang, Jianju Luo


Biomass fractionation is important for the further conversion of the cellulosic fraction and the effective utilization of the lignin fraction for the production of biofuels and value-added products. Solvent properties play a crucial role on the fractionation efficiency of lignocellulosics using an organosolv fractionation process catalyzed by acidic ionic liquids (AILs). Herein, 12 organic solvents were selected as co-solvents with water based on their solubility parameters for lignin dissolution, including alcohols, alcohol ethers, lactones, and alkanolamines, in order to fractionate poplar and rice straw. Effects of fractionation liquor solubility parameters on the delignification efficiency of organosolv fractionation were investigated under the same conditions. Relative energy differences (REDs) of the co-solvent systems for lignin dissolution were closely related to the degree of delignification with adjusted coefficients of determination of 0.899 and 0.800 for poplar and rice straw processes, respectively. The application of solubility parameter analysis may provide a rational way to screen solvent or co-solvent fractionation systems for biomass fractionation process.


Organosolv fractionation; Organic solvents; Delignification; Solubility parameters

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