Efficient Recovery of Lignin and Hemicelluloses from Kraft Black Liquor


Black liquor (BL) from kraft pulping industries contains a large fraction of lignin and hemicelluloses and their efficient separation can open up new possibilities for integrated biorefineries. In this work, lignin and hemicelluloses were separated from BL and concentrated BL (obtained by ultrafiltration), by precipitation using acidification and antisolvent precipitation method, respectively. For lignin precipitation, different organic acids, namely acetic, lactic and citric acid, were used and the yield and purity of the extracted lignin were compared with the lignin precipitated using inorganic acids, namely sulphuric and phosphoric acid. Among the organic acids, the highest yield of lignin (57.2%) was obtained by lactic acid, but the extract also contained the highest levels of inorganic impurities (9.2%). The extract obtained from acetic acid contained lower inorganic impurities and the lignin yield was 48.1%. The hemicellulose was extracted from BL liquor that was concentrated using the ZnObased PES mixed matrix ultrafiltration membrane, which was started by first separating lignin (at pH 3.5, 4 and 4.5) from it. The supernatants from the lignin precipitation process were used as a source of hemicellulose and this was precipitated by using acetone as an antisolvent. The highest hemicellulose yield (54.4%) was obtained from the supernatant with the lowest lignin content and highest acetone to supernatant ratio.

Keywords: acidification, antisolvent precipitation, hemicelluloses, kraft black liquor, lignin

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