Oxidative Depolymerisation of Lignosulphonate Lignin into Low-Molecular-Weight Products with Cu–Mn/δ-Al 2 O 3

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Lignin depolymerisation receives great attention due to the pressing need to find sustainable alternatives to fossil sources for production of fuels and chemicals. In this study, alumina-supported Cu–Mn and Ni–Mo catalysts were tested for oxidative depolymerisation of a technical lignin stream—sodium lignosulphonates—to produce valuable low-molecular-weight aromatics that may be considered for applications in the fuels and chemicals sector. The reactions were performed at elevated temperature and oxygen pressure, and the product mixtures were analysed by size exclusion chromatography, two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and supercritical fluid chromatography mass spectrometry. The best performance was obtained with Cu–Mn/δ-Al 2 O 3 , which was thoroughly characterised before and after use by nitrogen physisorption, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, thermal gravimetric analysis, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Major products identified were vanillin, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, vanillic acid and p-hydroxybenzoic acid as well as smaller aliphatic aldehydes, acids and lactones.


External organisations
  • Technical University of Denmark
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Chemical Process Engineering


  • Catalytic oxidation, Cu–Mn/Al O catalyst, Heterogeneous catalysis, Lignin valorisation, Sodium lignosulphonates
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalTopics in Catalysis
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch