Heterogeneous Catalyzed Thermochemical Conversion of Lignin Model Compounds: An Overview

  • Mikel Oregui‑BengoecheaEmail author
  • Ion Agirre
  • Aitziber Iriondo
  • Alexander Lopez‑Urionabarrenechea
  • Jesus M. Requies
  • Iker Agirrezabal‑Telleria
  • Kepa Bizkarra
  • V. Laura Barrio
  • Jose F. Cambra
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry Collections book series (TCCC)


Abstract Thermochemical lignin conversion processes can be described as complex reaction networks involving not only de-polymerization and re-polymerization reactions, but also chemical transformations of the depolymerized mono-, di-, and oligomeric compounds. They typically result in a product mixture consisting of a gaseous, liquid (i.e., mono-, di-, and oligomeric products), and solid phase. Consequently, researchers have developed a common strategy to simplify this issue by replacing lignin with simpler, but still representative, lignin model compounds. This strategy is typically applied to the elucidation of reaction mechanisms and the exploration of novel lignin conversion approaches. In this review, we present a general overview of the latest advances in the principal thermochemical processes applied for the conversion of lignin model compounds using heterogeneous catalysts. This review focuses on the most representative lignin conversion methods, i.e., reductive, oxidative, pyrolytic, and hydrolytic processes. An additional subchapter on the reforming of pyrolysis oil model compounds has also been included. Special attention will be given to those research papers using “green” reactants (i.e., H2 or renewable hydrogen donor molecules in reductive processes or air/O2 in oxidative processes) and solvents, although less environmentally friendly chemicals will be also considered. Moreover, the scope of the review is limited to those most representative lignin model compounds and to those reaction products that are typically targeted in lignin valorization.


Lignin Model compounds Heterogeneous catalysis Thermochemical conversion Reaction mechanism 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, School of EngineeringUniversity of the Basque Country EHU/UPVBilbaoSpain

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