Value added chemicals from Lignin

Value added chemicals from Lignin

Technology Description

This invention describes a process for the depolymerization of lignin under mild oxidizing conditions, which does not produce highly acidic or basic waste-streams and is particularly useful for making aromatic aldehydes such as vanillin and syringaldehyde. Oxidative depolymerisation of lignin into low molar mass compounds that can be used in the chemical industry, as an alternative to chemicals derived from non-renewable feedstocks.

Given the ongoing global drive for sustainable development, the chemical and polymer industries are investigating alternative green and renewable sources for their raw materials. This technology addresses how a waste product from the agricultural and agroforestry industries can be valorised through its conversion to value added functionalized aromatic compounds. The innovation is selective and mild, producing functionalized aromatic compounds that can be used as building blocks in the chemical and polymer industries.

Unique Features/Benefits

  • The reaction conditions are mild and do not produce highly acidic or basic waste-streams, which can pose as waste disposal challenges.
  • Given the mildness and selectivity of the technology, the process is very useful for making aromatic aldehydes such as vanillin and syringaldehyde in high yields.
  • The method relies on commercially available solvents.
  • The process does not need specialized reaction facilities.

 

Innovation Status

This technology is patented via PCT

 

Principal Researchers

  • Dr. Helen Pfukwa, Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, Faculty ofScience, Stellenbosch University
  • Ndumiso Sibanda, Department of Chemistry  and Polymer Science, Faculty of Science, Stellenbosch University
  • Prof Harald Pasch, Department ofChemistry and Polymer Science, Faculty of Science, Stellenbosch University

Opportunity

The method was found successful for the defragmentation of KRAFT lignin and Lignosulphonate to form valuable low molar compounds. Innovus is looking for industrial partnerships to commercialize the method.

 

Fund Requirements

Funding is needed to scale up experiments and further development.

Available for licensing

Yes

TTO

Thandiwe Maretlane
tmaretlane@sun.ac.za

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Registered IP