Biofuel additives from lignin

The work we have been doing on the ozonolysis of lignin has been published in Bioresource Technology (Elsevier). Based on the MRes project of Heather Parker, with contributions from fellow group members Rhod Jenkins and Joe Donnelly, we produced biofuel additives from the ozonolysis of lignin.


In this investigation ozonolysis in the presence of ethanol was used to depolymerise lignin, resulting in a low conversion of oxygenated aromatics over short reaction times, or a range of saturated esters over 24 h. Short chain oxygenates can be used as fuel additives, displacing a percentage of a hydrocarbon fuel while leading to improvement in some of the fuel properties. The utility of the resulting bio-oils was therefore assessed by blending with a range of fuels. Guaiacol, a potential antioxidant, was formed over short reaction times and was found to be completely miscible with low-sulphur petrol (ULSP), diesel, aviation kerosene and rapeseed methyl ester. The mainly aliphatic proportion of the bio-oil produced over 24 h could be blended with the fuels replacing a maximum of 12–17 wt.% of the hydrocarbon fuel.

Chuck C. J., Parker H.J., Jenkins R. W., Donnelly J., Renewable biofuel additives from the ozonolysis of lignin, Biores. Tech., 2013, 143, 549-554 (link)


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