Liquefaction of lignin and lignin-rich biomass by catalytic hydrogenolysis

M. Breunig, P. Gebhart, U. Hornung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As part of an ongoing project this work is examining the liquefaction of varying feedstocks under conditions of well-known Bergius process of direct coal liquefaction by high pressure heterogeneous catalytic hydrogenolysis. Applying this process onto renewable resources like lignin and lignin-rich waste biomass it is possible to aim for aromatic components for chemical industry as well as for bio based liquid fuels or additives without competing with food or feed production. The performed experiments investigate the chemical conversion of different lignin types alongside samples of beech bark and fiber residues from pulp and paper industry using miscellaneous catalysts and catalyst preparations. By varying reaction conditions like catalyst concentration, temperature and concentration of sulfur the aim was to optimize the conditions of liquefaction for the chosen setup. It will be shown that lignin and lignin-rich biomass can be liquefied under conditions of direct coal liquefaction using molybdic acid and sulfidic iron catalysts. The liquid oil product can be obtained in good yields up to 80 wt.-% consisting of monocyclic aromatic compounds while removing the majority of hetero atomic functional groups. This can be achieved while receiving only a minimal amount of solid residue, reaction water and a valuable gas byproduct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1084
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings
Issue number24thEUBCE
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Catalyst
  • Hydrogen
  • Lignin
  • Liquefaction
  • Thermochemical conversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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