Title : Lignin conversion to added value products
Lignin is the second most abundant polymer in nature after cellulose and is the most abundant renewable aromatic polymer on Earth. Lignin availability in the biosphere exceeds 300 billion tons and increases by around 20 billion tons every year. Lignin is one of the main components of the cell wall of vascular plants and constitutes between 15-30% of the mass content depending on the species. Lignins are complex molecules with a great heterogeneity that depend on the species of the plant, the separation process and the method used to recover it. Therefore, the unique aromatic structure of lignin, makes it a candidate to transform it into variety of products that could replace their counterpart petroleum based products.
Currently, most of the efforts in biorefinery industries are focused on the sugar platform (cellulose and hemicellulose) for chemicals and biofuels production such as bioethanol, xylitol, succinic acid, and many others. However, the development of lignin platform is essential for the production of high value-added products. In this way, the portfolio of these biorefineries could be raised, improving their feasibility in order to be considered as a real alternative to replace pretrochemical industries in the close future.
The presentation will focuses on the main achievements of the Biorefinery Research Group on the field of extraction and conversion of lignin to biobased products.
- Overview of the challenges facing the implementation of lignocellulosic biorefineries
- Different pathway to valorize lignin in added value products such building blocks and polymer
- To make the audience aware about the relevance of taking into account the valorization of lignin in the design of biorefinery processes.