Selective depolymerization of industrial lignin-containing stillage obtained from cellulosic bioethanol processing

Beatriz Gomez-Monedero, M. Pilar Ruiz, Fernando Bimbela, Jimmy Faria* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Reductive depolymerization of lignin-containing stillage (LA lignin) from 2nd generation bioethanol industrial plants have been studied over two different families of catalysts: conventional porous Ru catalysts supported on ZrO2 or activated carbon, and 1-dimensional Ru catalysts supported on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). The lignin depolymerization degree using conventional porous catalysts resulted in values of 42 and 53%, for Ru/ZrO2 and Ru/C, respectively. Strikingly, when using 1D-supported catalysts (Ru/MWCNT and Ru/ZrO2/MWCNT), the extent of lignin depolymerization measured by 1H13C HSQC NMR, reached values of c.a. 80% of β-O-4 bond disappearance and a reduction of the average molecular weight from 3600 Da to ~ 1900 Da. The higher accessibility of the lignin agglomerates to the 1-D catalyst nanoparticles substantially improves the lignin depolymerization degree, which make this approach of great interest in the production of fine chemicals and fuel additives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalFuel processing technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Lignin
  • Hydrogenolysis
  • Stillage
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Depolymerization
  • 1-D catalyst

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