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Review: chemical approaches toward catalytic lignin degradation

Sara Gücyeter, Richard Erpelding, and Magnus S. Schmidt

Institute of Precision Medicine, Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry Lab, Medical and Life Sciences Faculty, Furtwangen University, VS-Schwenningen, Germany



Received: 30 July 2021  Accepted: 23 November 2021


Lignin is a potentially high natural source of biological aromatic substances. However, decomposition of the polymer has proven to be quite challenging, as the complex bonds are fairly difficult to break down chemically. This article is intended to provide an overview of various recent methods for the catalytic chemical depolymerization of the biopolymer lignin into chemical products. For this purpose, nickel-, zeolite- and palladium-supported catalysts were examined in detail. In order to achieve this, various experiments of the last years were collected, and the efficiency of the individual catalysts was examined. This included evaluating the reaction conditions under which the catalysts work most efficiently. The influence of co-catalysts and Lewis acidity was also investigated. The results show that it is possible to control the obtained product selectivity very well by the choice of the respective catalysts combined with the proper reaction conditions.

Keywords: Lignin; Degradation; Catalytic depolymerization; Palladium; Zeolite; Nickel

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-021-01996-y


Chemical Papers 76 (4) 1899–1922 (2022)

Friday, June 21, 2024

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