The lignin by-product of the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to 5-(chloromethyl)furfural (CMF) has been characterised by thermogravimetric analysis, N2 physisorption porosimetry, attenuated internal reflectance IR spectroscopy, elemental analysis and solid-state NMR spectroscopy. The lignin (LCMF) has a moderate level of mesoporosity before thermal treatment and a surface area of 63 m(2) g(-1) , which increases dramatically on pyrolysis at temperatures above 400 °C. An assessment of the functionality and textural properties of the material was achieved by analysing LCMF treated thermally over a range of pyrolysis temperatures. Samples were sulfonated to test their potential as heterogeneous acid catalysts in the esterification of levulinic acid. It was shown that unpyrolysed catalysts gave the highest ester yields of up to 93 %. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of mesoporous lignin with an appreciable surface area that is produced directly from a bio-refinery process and with further textural modification of the material demonstrated.
Bibliographical noteDate of Acceptance: 30/10/2015
- Carboxylic acids
- Heterogeneous catalysis
- Mesoporous materials
- Waste prevention