Disassembly of lignin and chemical recovery in supercritical water and p-cresol mixture. Studies on lignin model compounds

Kazuhide Okuda, Satoshi Ohara, Mitsuo Umetsu, Seiichi Takami, Tadafumi Adschiri

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50 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study was to gain insight into the role of the each unit of lignin in the formation of products. Glycerol, guaiacol, the mixture of glycerol and guaiacol (Gly&Gua), and guaiacylglycerol-β-guaiacyl ether (GGGE) were used as lignin model compounds to study fragmentation of lignin in an excess of water and p-cresol at 400 °C. The products have been analyzed employing gas chromatography (GC)-mass spectrometer (MS) and gas chromatography-frame ionization detector for qualitative and quantitative analysis. GC-MS analysis indicated that phenol, o-cresol, methyl-anisole, di-methyl-phenol, ethyl-methyl-phenol, 2-(hydroxy-benzyl)-4-methyl-phenol (BMP) and 2-(2-hydroxy-5-methyl-benzyl)-4-methyl-phenol were formed. The products were similar to the products by the fragmentation of lignin. The products, except o-cresol, were primarily derived from glycerol and/or guaiacol. We also found that the amount of BMP derived from GGGE, which has glycerol unit and guaiacol unit in its structure, is much more than that derived from Gly&Gua. The increase of the BMP yield by reaction with GGGE compared with (glycerol and/or guaiacol) indicates that guaiacylglycerol unit with linkage of Gly&Gua plays an important role in the formation of BMP and also it is suggested that the BMP formation from GGGE has pathways other than that from Gly&Gua.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1846-1852
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr


  • Chemical recovery
  • Formation pathway
  • GC-MS (FID)
  • Lignin model compounds
  • Supercritical water and p-cresol mixture


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