Electrochemical Lignin Conversion

Xu Du, Haichuan Zhang, Kevin Sullivan, Parikshit Gogoi, Yulin Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus Citations


Lignin is the largest source of renewable aromatic compounds, making the recovery of aromatic compounds from this material a significant scientific goal. Recently, many studies have reported on lignin depolymerization and upgrading strategies. Electrochemical approaches are considered to be low cost, reagent free, and environmentally friendly, and can be carried out under mild reaction conditions. In this Review, different electrochemical lignin conversion strategies, including electrooxidation, electroreduction, hybrid electro-oxidation and reduction, and combinations of electrochemical and other processes (e. g., biological, solar) for lignin depolymerization and upgrading are discussed in detail. In addition to lignin conversion, electrochemical lignin fractionation from biomass and black liquor is also briefly discussed. Finally, the outlook and challenges for electrochemical lignin conversion are presented.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4318-4343
Number of pages26
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley-VCH GmbH

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2800-77495


  • biomass valorization
  • electrochemistry
  • electrooxidation
  • electroreduction
  • lignin depolymerization


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