Isolation and Characterization of Organosolv Lignins From Wheat Straw

Run-Cang Sun, J. Mark Lawther, W. B. Banks


Delignification of wheat straw with aqueous methanol, ethanol, l-propanol, n-butanol, dioxane, and acetone in the presence of acid catalyst (0.02 N H2SO4) at low temperature (75°C) for 2 h was studied. The effect of ethanol-water ratios on the yield of dissolved lignin is also reported here. There was no significant difference in the organosolv lignin yields among the various organic solvents used, which accounted for 24-28% of the total amount of acidic chlorite lignin present in wheat straw. Increase of ethanol-water volume ratio from 40/60 to 70/30 resulted in raising lignin yields from 25 to 31%, while the reverse yield from 31 to 24% appeared in the increase of volume ratio from 70/30 to 90/10. The isolated organosolv lignin fractions contained low amounts of polysaccharide sugars (4.5-5.3%) and had low average molecular weights (1190-1650 Da), which corresponded with the ball-milling lignin, enzyme lignin, and alkali lignin obtained from wheat straw. The predominant components of the alkali nitrobenzene oxidation products were found to be vanillin and syringaldehyde. The yield of vanillin was slightly higher than that of syringaldehyde in all the nitrobenzene oxidation products of the isolated organosolv lignin preparations.


Wheat straw;organosolv lignin;phenolic acids and aldehydes;alkaline nitrobenzene oxidation;molecular weight;polysaccharides;Fourier transform infrared spectra

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