Lignin Waste Modified for Industrial Bio-Oil Use
(Phys.Org/University of Borås) Lignin, a waste product in biomass and ethanol production, now finds new value as bio-oil in new products. At the University of Borås, Sweden, a team of researchers has investigated methods to extract and refine lignin for industrial applications.
The researcher Swarnima Agnihotri has spent a year at the University of Borås refining the methods to extract the lignin from lignin-rich wheat straw. She says, “If biofuels are to become a reality, we need to realize the industrial potential of lignin and get more value from it. Seeing the complexity and richness of its functional groups, there are various potential applications of lignin by converting it in variety of value added products like high performance carbon fibre, bio-oil and vanillin, to name a few.”
The project uses an agricultural residue, wheat straw, which is available in surplus in Sweden, and also in other European countries.
Now, when we have optimized an efficient pretreatment process for effective lignin extraction from wheat straw, we will scale up the process, and the pure lignin obtained will be transformed into bio-oil through a hydrothermal liquefaction process done, that is, extracting liquid and get a concentrated oil. The bio-oil product obtained will be a high valuable byproduct since it can be further upgraded in refineries to obtain green chemicals and biofuels. READ MORE