Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research on the sustainable conversion of lignin into valuable chemical compounds is attracting further funding

03.07.2019

Siegfried Waldvogel is coordinating an EU project to convert waste into sustainable compounds in collaboration with an industrial consortium

The Electrosynthesis group at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is further expanding its methods for the production of sustainable chemicals from lignin. The research lab, headed by Professor Siegfried Waldvogel at the JGU Institute of Organic Chemistry, is coordinating a partnership consortium of businesses and institutes of higher education.


Experimental setup for determining optimal reaction conditions (screening)

photo/©: Waldvogel group, JGU

The SElectiveLI project was set up by the EU and an industrial consortium and is being funded through the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) Public-Private Partnership. Over the next three years, EUR 2.9 million will be provided to reach an ambitious goal: Working together with numerous European partners in this project, the aim of Waldvogel's team is to show how lignosulfonate, a waste product of the paper and pulp industry, can be used to produce valuable 'green' compounds. To implement this complex process, it will first be necessary to carry out a feasibility study on laboratory scale. The project was launched on May 1st, 2019.

Electrochemistry applies electric current to promote chemical reactions directly. This strategy avoids the use of valuable and limited resources for reagents and catalysts that would otherwise be necessary to enable such reactions. A further advantage is the fact that it is also possible to use excess electric energy for electrochemical purposes generated from renewable sources.

Lignin as a source of chemicals for the production of carbon-neutral plastics

In SElectiveLI, electrochemistry serves in various applications, including the conversion of lignin into valuable chemicals. Paper production generates a considerable amount of the bio-adhesive lignin as a by-product: 50 million tons per year. Up to date, the challenging chemical properties of this unique bio-derived structure leads to its primary use as combustible material to generate thermal energy.

However, lignin is packed with basic compounds that are envisaged to be used in the manufacture of carbon-neutral plastics, adhesives, vanillin, and other major commodity chemicals. Another aim of the project is to facilitate the complex process required for the separation of the target compounds from the reaction mixture obtained from the electrochemical process.

"We hope to develop an inexpensive way of producing green chemicals and, if possible, make the use bisphenol A obsolete in the future," stated Professor Siegfried Waldvogel.

"This also involves investigating processes that make the use of renewable energy as a power source for electrochemistry feasible. In addition, we will exploit a source of renewable material that will not be competing with food production."

Furthermore, the researchers want to demonstrate the possibility to reduce possible negative environmental impacts resulting from the industrial process. Rendering these processes as environmentally friendly as possible, the extraction of valuable compounds is improved by reducing the water consumption and by using non-toxic materials to facilitate reactions.

The team led by Professor Siegfried Waldvogel already received EU funding in 2018 for a project designed to explore the potential for the utilization of alternative lignin product flows. In the case of the more recent project, the group is part of an international consortium that envisages the construction of an electrochemical plant to investigate the opportunities for the commercial exploitation of chemical compounds derived from lignosulfonates.

Images:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/09_org_chemie_eu_selectiveli_01.jpg
Experimental setup for determining optimal reaction conditions (screening)
photo/©: Waldvogel group, JGU

http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/09_org_chemie_eu_selectiveli_02.jpg
A researcher working on an electrochemical flow reactor
photo/©: Alexander Sell

Related links:
https://www.aksw.uni-mainz.de/ – Waldvogel group at the JGU Institute of Organic Chemistry

Read more:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/aktuell/6739_ENG_HTML.php – press release "EU funding to promote the utilization of lignin" (24 Oct. 2018)
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/aktuell/6017_ENG_HTML.php – press release "Protection for the ozone layer: sugar molecules bind harmful CFCs" (10 Sept. 2018)

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Professor Dr. Siegfried R. Waldvogel
Institute of Organic Chemistry
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-26069
fax +49 6131 39-26777
e-mail: waldvogel@uni-mainz.de
https://www.aksw.uni-mainz.de/prof-dr-s-r-waldvogel/

Dr. Jesco Panther
Institute of Organic Chemistry
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-20466
fax +49 6131 39-26777
e-mail: jpanther@uni-mainz.de

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Intestinal inflammation: immune cells protect nerve cells after infection
22.01.2020 | Exzellenzcluster Präzisionsmedizin für chronische Entzündungserkrankungen

nachricht Structual color barcode micromotors for multiplex biosensing
21.01.2020 | Science China Press

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A new look at 'strange metals'

For years, a new synthesis method has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna) to unlock the secrets of "strange metals". Now a breakthrough has been achieved. The results have been published in "Science".

Superconductors allow electrical current to flow without any resistance - but only below a certain critical temperature. Many materials have to be cooled down...

Im Focus: Programmable nests for cells

KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications

Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials....

Im Focus: Miniature double glazing: Material developed which is heat-insulating and heat-conducting at the same time

Styrofoam or copper - both materials have very different properties with regard to their ability to conduct heat. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz and the University of Bayreuth have now jointly developed and characterized a novel, extremely thin and transparent material that has different thermal conduction properties depending on the direction. While it can conduct heat extremely well in one direction, it shows good thermal insulation in the other direction.

Thermal insulation and thermal conduction play a crucial role in our everyday lives - from computer processors, where it is important to dissipate heat as...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IAF establishes an application laboratory for quantum sensors

In order to advance the transfer of research developments from the field of quantum sensor technology into industrial applications, an application laboratory is being established at Fraunhofer IAF. This will enable interested companies and especially regional SMEs and start-ups to evaluate the innovation potential of quantum sensors for their specific requirements. Both the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are supporting the four-year project with one million euros each.

The application laboratory is being set up as part of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project »QMag«, short for quantum magnetometry. In this project, researchers...

Im Focus: How Cells Assemble Their Skeleton

Researchers study the formation of microtubules

Microtubules, filamentous structures within the cell, are required for many important processes, including cell division and intracellular transport. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

„Advanced Battery Power“- Conference, Contributions are welcome!

07.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new look at 'strange metals'

21.01.2020 | Materials Sciences

Body's natural signal carriers can help melanoma spread

21.01.2020 | Health and Medicine

Structual color barcode micromotors for multiplex biosensing

21.01.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>