Synthesis and catalytic conversion of lignin model compounds

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry and Chemical Eng


This project will involve the multi-gram synthesis of a range of lignin model oligomers containing representative multiple functionalities found in native lignin in biomass. These compounds will then be used to develop new catalytic transformations which can be applied to lignocellulosic biomass for the sustainable production of fine chemical intermediates from renewable resources and which will be "privileged" platform compounds of application to the pharmaceutical, fuels and agrochemical sectors among others. The project builds on the research started under the EPSRC platform project CASTech (EP/G012156/1) on the valorisation of biomass, with an emphasis on lignin, through the development of new catalytic depolymerisation processes. This new extension to the original project will continue the design and scalable synthesis of sophisticated lignin models containing multiple functionalities and will include the development of new biomass depolymerisation methodologies, including laccase enzymatic transformations and photocatalytic methods for the conversion of the model compounds.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509541/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1945873 Studentship EP/N509541/1 22/09/2017 31/03/2021 Christopher William Murnaghan
Description Throughout this time in the study, muh work has been done to establish key linkages within the biomass and lignocellulosic network, new model compounds have been designed and synthesised chemically and these compounds are new to the scientific community.
Alongside the synthesis of these compounds, much work has also been performed on the breakdown of lignin model compounds this has been done using UV light in the presence and absence of a photocatalyst
Exploitation Route More work put forward into the breakdon of the models using other means and not just photochemically and photocatalytcally
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Energy,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology