Separation and Characterization of Lignin and Sugars in the Hydrolysate of Hot Water Extraction of Poplar Wood by Membrane Filtration and Activated Carbon Adsorption

Guoyu Tian, Yaqi Chu, Xiaoqian Chen, Xiuhong Zhong, Zhaojiang Wang, Tongtong Zhang


Hot water extraction of poplar wood was conducted at temperatures from 190 to 200 °C for 5 to 8 min. A hemicellulose yield of 81% and a lignin yield of 38% were obtained at 200 °C for 8 min. A combined process of microfiltration, ultrafiltration, and activated carbon adsorption was developed to separate lignin and sugars in the hydrolysate of hot water extraction. Lignin recovery efficiencies of 56.7%, 26.0%, and 13.2% were attained for microfiltration, ultrafiltration, and activated carbon adsorption, respectively. The characterization of lignin revealed diversity in molecular weight and functional groups, which is beneficial for high-value valorization. The obtained hemicellulose sugars from the combined process showed a good recovery rate of 43.8% and remarkable purity of 97.5%. The purified sugars were a mixture of monomers and oligomers that consisted of arabinose, galactose, xylose, glucose, and mannose. Sugar oligomers with degrees of polymerization from 2 to 6 accounted for 21.6% of all sugars.


Woody biomass; Hot water extraction; Filtration; Lignin; Hemicelluloses

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