1 Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN2 Section of Chemical Engineering, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN3 The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN4 Chalmers University of Technology5 Valmet Power AB6 Chalmers University of Technology
The catalytic conversion of suspended LignoBoost Kraft lignin was performed in near-critical water using ZrO2/K2CO3 as the catalytic system and phenol as the co-solvent and char suppressing agent. The reaction temperature was varied from 290 to 370 C and its effect on the process was investigated in a continuous flow (1 kg/h). The yields of water-soluble organics (WSO), bio-oil and char (dry lignin basis) were in the ranges of 5–11%, 69–87% and 16–22%, respectively. The bio-oil, being partially deoxygenated, exhibited higher carbon content and heat value, but lower sulphur content than lignin. The main 1-ring aromatics (in WSO and diethylether-soluble bio-oil) were anisoles, alkylphenols, catechols and guaiacols. The results show that increasing temperature increases the yield of 1-ring aromatics remarkably, while it increases the formation of char moderately. An increase in the yields of anisoles, alkylphenols and catechols, together with a decrease in the yield of guaiacols, was also observed.