(639p) Converting Lignin to Value-Added Products with Copper-Doped Catalysts in Supercritical Methanol

Gao, Y., Washington University in St. Louis
Foston, M., Georgia Institute of Technology
The rapid worldwide increase in the consumption of fuels and chemicals has led to concern over the depletion of non-renewable resources and the environmental impact of their processing and utilization. Lignin, an abundant plant cell wall polymer that is currently treated as waste, is being considered as a renewable feedstock for the production of chemicals due to its high aromaticity. However, effectively converting lignin into value-added products can be challenging due to its high structural heterogeneity and recalcitrance. The copper-doped porous metal oxides (CuPMO) catalyst has been shown to selectively disassemble lignin into aliphatic or aromatic products, which can potentially be used as fuels or platform compounds for chemical synthesis. In order to better control the lignin disassembly to selective products and improve yields for future catalyst design, we focus on understanding the mechanisms and kinetics of lignin and lignin model polymers disassembly over CuPMO via a suite of novel analytical methods, which involves using chromatography, mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance.