A Novel Solvent Combined Zinc Chloride and Organic Acid for Highly Efficient and Green Disassembly of Lignocelluloses Toward Lignin Valorization

Tianying Chen, Ruonan Zhu, Yijing Li, Shri Ramaswamy, Xueming Zhang, Yanjun Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effective fractionation of lignocelluloses at mild conditions is essential for extensive valorization of lignin. In the present study, a hybrid solvent combining zinc chloride and lactic acid (ZnCl2/Lac) was proposed to separate lignocelluloses for lignin valorization. The results showed that ZnCl2 and organic acid (Lac) was combined in metal coordination to form the disassembly solvent of lignocelluloses. Meanwhile, the separation efficiency of the mixed system was much higher than that of a single solvent. The optical microscopy and Raman images also revealed that the novel solvent could significant swell and destruct the rigid structure of plant cell wall, facilitating the dissolution and separation of lignin. Biomass pretreatment with ZnCl2/Lac system at 90 °C for 3 h resulted in lignin removal ratio of up to 79.7%. Besides, the characterizations of the precipitated lignin exhibited typical lignin structures (such as β-O-4, β-β, and β-5 linkages as well as S-and G-type units). The lignin structure could be tailored for specific applications by changing the reaction conditions. Therefore, ZnCl2/Lac solvent system showed greater potential in effective fractionation of lignocelluloses and valorization of lignin into value-added products with higher separation efficiencies and feasibility for recycling and reuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1828-1838
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Polymers and the Environment
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the financial support of this research from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFD0600204), Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31470606, 22208309, and 22078306), Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (Grant No. LQ21C160006), Key Research and Development Program of Zhejiang Province (Grant No. 2020C02021), Science Foundation of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (ZSTU) (Grant No. 20202290-Y).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Disassembly
  • Lactic acid
  • Lignin
  • Pretreatment
  • Zinc chloride


Dive into the research topics of 'A Novel Solvent Combined Zinc Chloride and Organic Acid for Highly Efficient and Green Disassembly of Lignocelluloses Toward Lignin Valorization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this