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Co-Production of High-Grade Dissolving Pulp, Furfural, and Lignin from Eucalyptus via Extremely Low Acid Pretreatment and Pulping Technologies and Catalysis

Chengxiang Li, Yue Wu, Chunhui Zhang*, Yao Liu, Qixuan Lin, Junli Ren*

State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Engineering, School of Light Industry and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, China

* Corresponding Authors: Chunhui Zhang. Email: email; Junli Ren. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Process and Engineering of Lignocellulose Utilization)

Journal of Renewable Materials 2023, 11(6), 2555-2574.


Hemicellulose and lignin are not reasonably utilized during the dissolved pulp preparation process. This work aimed to propose a process for the co-production of dissolving pulp, furfural, and lignin from eucalyptus. High-grade dissolving pulp was prepared from eucalyptus using a combination of extremely low acid (ELA) pretreatment, Kraft cooking, and elementary chlorine-free (ECF) bleaching. The obtained pre-hydrolysate was catalytic conversion into furfural in a biphasic system, and lignin during Kraft cooking and ECF was recovered. The process condition was discussed as well as the mass flow direction. The results showed that ELA pretreatment could effectively remove 80.1% hemicellulose. Compared with traditional hydrothermal pretreatment, the ELA pretreatment significantly increased the xylose yield from 5.05 to 14.18 g/L at 170°C for 2 h, which had practical significance for furfural production. The 82.7% furfural yield and 82.9% furfural selectivity were obtained from xylose-rich pre-hydrolysate using NaCl as a phase modifier in a biphasic system with 4-methyl-2-pentanone (MIBK) as an organic phase by ion exchange resin catalysts at 190°C for 2 h. Subsequently, the pretreated eucalyptus was subjected to Kraft cooking, and the optimal alkali amount was 14%. Then, the Kraft pulp was bleached using the O-D1-EP-D2 sequence, and dissolving pulp was obtained with an ISO brightness of 86.0%, viscosity of 463 mL/g, and α-cellulose content of 95.4%. The Kraft lignin which has a potential application was investigated by 2D-HSQC NMR and 31P NMR. The results showed that the S/G ratio of Kraft lignin was 1.93, and the content of phenolic hydroxyl groups was 2.53 mmol/g. Moreover, based on the above proposed process, 30.5 g dissolving pulp, 5.5 g furfural, and 21.2 g lignin per 100 g eucalyptus chips (oven dry) were produced. This research will provide new catalysis and pulping technical routes for dissolving pulp, furfural, and Kraft lignin products, which are in great demand in the chemical industry.


Cite This Article

Li, C., Wu, Y., Zhang, C., Liu, Y., Lin, Q. et al. (2023). Co-Production of High-Grade Dissolving Pulp, Furfural, and Lignin from Eucalyptus via Extremely Low Acid Pretreatment and Pulping Technologies and Catalysis. Journal of Renewable Materials, 11(6), 2555–2574.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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