Base-Catalyzed Depolymerization of Lignin: Separation of Monomers

Alexandre Vigneault, David Johnson, Esteban Chornet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In our quest for fractionating lignocellulosic biomass and valorizing specific constitutive fractions, we have developed a strategy for the separation of 12 added value monomers generated during the hydrolytic based-catalyzed depolymerization of a Steam Exploded Aspen Lignin. The separation strategy combines liquid-liquid-extraction (LLE), followed by vacuum distillation, liquid chromatography (LC) and crystallization. LLE, vacuum distillation and flash LC were tested experimentally. Batch vacuum distillation produced up to 4 fractions. Process simulation confirmed that a series of 4 vacuum distillation columns could produce 5 distinct monomer streams, 3 of which require further chromatography and crystallization for purification.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)906-916
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-270-40750


  • biochemicals
  • lignin upgrading
  • lignocellulosic biomass conversion via fractionation
  • monomer


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