The valorization of lignin that derives as by product in various biomass conversion processes has become a major research and technological objective. The potential of the production of valuable mono-aromatics (BTX and others) and (alkyl)phenols by catalytic fast pyrolysis of lignin is investigated in this work by the use of ZSM-5 zeolites with different acidic and porosity characteristics. More specifically, conventional microporous ZSM-5 (Si/Al = 11.5, 25, 40), nano-sized (≤20 nm, by direct synthesis) and mesoporous (9 nm, by mild alkaline treatment) ZSM-5 zeolites were tested in the fast pyrolysis of a softwood kraft lignin at 400-600°C on a Py/GC-MS system and a fixed-bed reactor unit. The composition of lignin (FT-IR, 2D HSQC NMR) was correlated with the composition of the thermal (non-catalytic) pyrolysis oil, while the effect of pyrolysis temperature and catalyst-to-lignin (C/L) ratio, as well as of the Si/Al ratio, acidity, micro/mesoporosity and nano-size of ZSM-5, on bio-oil composition was thoroughly investigated. It was shown that the conventional microporous ZSM-5 zeolites are more selective toward mono-aromatics while the nano-sized and mesoporous ZSM-5 exhibited also high selectivity for (alkyl)phenols. However, the nano-sized ZSM-5 zeolite exhibited the lowest yield of organic bio-oil and highest production of water, coke and non-condensable gases compared to the conventional microporous and mesoporous ZSM-5 zeolites. © 2018 Lazaridis, Fotopoulos, Karakoulia and Triantafyllidis.
Lazaridis, P. A., Fotopoulos, A. P., Karakoulia, S. A., & Triantafyllidis, K. S. (2018). Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Kraft Lignin With Conventional, Mesoporous and Nanosized ZSM-5 Zeolite for the Production of Alkyl-Phenols and Aromatics. Frontiers in Chemistry, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2018.00295