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 Coral reefs shifting away from equator
10.07.2019 | Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

nachricht Sneaky mating may be in female damselfies' interest
09.07.2019 | Ecological Society of America

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

Im Focus: Modelling leads to the optimum size for platinum fuel cell catalysts: Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled

An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.

Fuel cells may well replace batteries as the power source for electric cars. They consume hydrogen, a gas which could be produced for example using surplus...

Im Focus: The secret of mushroom colors

Mushrooms: Darker fruiting bodies in cold climates

The fly agaric with its red hat is perhaps the most evocative of the diverse and variously colored mushroom species. Hitherto, the purpose of these colors was...

Im Focus: First results of the new Alphatrap experiment

Physicists at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg report the first result of the new Alphatrap experiment. They measured the bound-electron g-factor of highly charged (boron-like) argon ions with unprecedented precision of 9 digits. In comparison with a new highly accurate quantum electrodynamic calculation they found an excellent agreement on a level of 7 digits. This paves the way for sensitive tests of QED in strong fields like precision measurements of the fine structure constant α as well as the detection of possible signatures of new physics. [Physical Review Letters, 27 June 2019]

Quantum electrodynamics (QED) describes the interaction of charged particles with electromagnetic fields and is the most precisely tested physical theory. It...

Im Focus: Experimental physicists redefine ultrafast, coherent magnetism

For the first time ever, experimental physicists have been able to influence the magnetic moment of materials in sync with their electronic properties. The coupled optical and magnetic excitation within one femtosecond corresponds to an acceleration by a factor of 200 and is the fastest magnetic phenomenon that has ever been observed.

Electronic properties of materials can be directly influenced via light absorption in under a femtosecond (10-15 seconds), which is regarded as the limit of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Puzzling on a quantum chessboard

10.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer WKI develops sustainable sandwich elements made from wood foam and textile-reinforced

10.07.2019 | Materials Sciences

Could vacuum physics be revealed by laser-driven microbubble?

10.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>