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    Author(s): Qianli Ma; Junjun Zhu; Rolland Gleisner; Rendang Yang; J.Y. Zhu
    Date: 2018
    Source: ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 6(11): 14480-14489.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (7.0 MB)

    Description

    This study evaluated the potential of an acid hydrotropic process at low temperatures for on-farm valorization of wheat straw by producing ligocellulosic nanofibrils (LCNFs), lignin nanoparticles (LNPs), and furfural. p-Toluenesulfonic acid (p-TsOH) was used to fractionate wheat straw under a range of conditions below 90 °C at low to moderate concentrations, between 15 and 60 wt %, for up to 2 h. p-TsOH fractionated wheat straw into a cellulose-rich waterinsoluble solid (WIS) fraction and a spent liquor stream that contained dissolved lignin and xylan. Various degrees of delignification and hemicellulose dissolution were obtained and were correlated with a combined delignification factor (CDF) and a combined hydrolysis factor (CHF), respectively. A low p-TsOH concentration of 15 wt % can be used to obtain the desired degree of delignification for producing LCNFs directly from wheat straw. Films made of wheat straw LCNFs, with lignin contents of 12−22%, had excellent mechanical properties, with specific tensile strength over 120 kN·m/kg. The dissolved xylan in the spent liquor was directly dehydrated into furfural catalyzed by the p-TsOH in the spent liquor without an additional catalyst. The dissolved lignin was easily precipitated as LNPs through dilution using water. p-TsOH, as a solid catalyst, can be reused after the steps of lignin precipitation, reconcentration, and dehydration of xylose into furfural. The low-temperature fractionation process could substantially reduce capital and operating costs for on-farm applications.

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    Citation

    Ma, Qianli; Zhu, Junjun; Gleisner, Rolland; Yang, Rendang; Zhu, J.Y. 2018. Valorization of wheat straw using a recyclable hydrotrope at low temperatures (≤90 °C). ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 6(11): 14480-14489.

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    Keywords

    Wheat straw, hydrotropic fractionation, low temperature, lignocellulose nanofibrils, lignin nanoparticles

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