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Title: Valorization of wheat straw using a recyclable hydrotrope at low temperatures (≤90 °C)

Source: ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 6(11): 14480-14489.

Author(s)Ma, Qianli ; Zhu, Junjun ; Gleisner, Rolland ; Yang, Rendang ; Zhu, J.Y.

Publication Year: 2018  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4709-1B

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Wheat straw; hydrotropic fractionation; low temperature; lignocellulose nanofibrils; lignin nanoparticles

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 7,168 kb(s)

Date posted: 09/30/2019

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 96093
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Zhu, JunYong
Research General Engineer

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