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Recent Advances in the Catalytic Depolymerization of Lignin towards Phenolic Chemicals: A Review

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DateAccepted/In press - 12 Jul 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 3 Aug 2020
Number of pages23
Early online date3/08/20
Original languageEnglish


The efficient valorization of lignin could dictate the success of the 2nd generation biorefinery. Lignin, accounting for on average a third of the lignocellulosic biomass, is the most promising candidate for sustainable production of value-added phenolics. However, the structural alteration induced during lignin isolation is often depleting its potential for value-added chemicals. Recently, catalytic reductive depolymerization of lignin has appeared to be a promising and effective method for its valorization to obtain phenolic monomers. The present study systematically summarizes the far-reaching and state-of-the-art lignin valorization strategies during different stages, including conventional catalytic depolymerization of technical lignin, emerging reductive catalytic fractionation of protolignin, stabilization strategies to inhibit the undesired condensation reactions, and further catalytic upgrading of lignin-derived monomers. Finally, the potential challenges for the future researches on the efficient valorization of lignin and possible solutions are proposed.

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors.

    Research areas

  • Lignin, phenolic monomers, reductive catalytic fractionation, stabilization, valorization

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