Delignification is essential in effective utilization of carbohydrates of lignocellulosic biomass. Characteristics of the delignification are important for the yield and property of the resulting carbohydrates. Oxidation with O2 of biomass in alkaline water can potentially produce high-purity cellulose at high yield. The present authors chose a Japanese cedar and investigated its oxidative delignification at 90 °C. The delignification selectivity was determined mainly by the chemical structures of lignin and cellulose. Treatment conditions, except for temperature, hardly changed the relationship between delignification rate and cellulose retention. During the treatment, dissolved lignin underwent chemical condensation in the aqueous phase. This "unfavorable"condensation consumed O2-derived active species, slowing down further delignification. Repeated short-time oxidation with renewal of alkaline water suppressed the condensation, enhancing the delignification. Repetition of 2-h treatments four times achieved 96% delignification, which was 8% higher than a single 8-h treatment at 130 °C.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)