The effect of multiple hydrotropic treatments on the delignification of hardwood

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Hydrotropic extraction (HEX) is a method for the delignification of lignocellulose that has been given increasing amounts of attention during the last couple of years. A hydrotrope is an amphiphilic substance, which, in high enough concentrations, can improve solubility of otherwise poorly soluble substances in water. The most commonly used substance for HEX-delignification is sodium xylenesulfonate (SXS), a compound commonly found in personal-care products such as shampoos and cosmetics. Above a certain concentration the substance will create a hydrophobic local environment where the lignin molecule can be solubilized. By adding water, and lowering the concentration of SXS, the lignin will precipitate and can then be filtered off. One advantage of using SXS for delignification is that the activity of the hydrotropic solution increases with the number of cycles (to a certain limit) using the same liquid and that it can be reused up to six times without losing efficiency.
A hardwood mixture consisting of 80% birch and 20% beech was submitted to pretreatment with steam explosion as a first stage in order to recover the hemicelluloses i.e. xylan. Results have shown that approximately 80% of the xylan can be recovered in the liquid phase during this treatment. The remaining solid phase was then subjected to the HEX treatment using SXS as hydrotrope. In this study results of repetitive extractions where the hydrotrope was reused will be presented.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Chemical Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Event40th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals - Clearwater Beach, Clearwater beach, United States
Duration: 2018 Apr 292018 May 3


Conference40th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals
Abbreviated titleSBFC
CountryUnited States
CityClearwater beach