Waste Wood Upgrading by Low Cost Solvent Process
Waste wood can be upgraded by a low cost ionic liquid lignin solvent process. Jason Hallett, co-founder of Chrysalix technologies, held a presentation at at the European Congress on Chemical Engineering, Florence, Italy 15-19th September 2019.
He showed that a low cost ionic liquid dissolves lignin from wood. The remaining cellulose is filtered off. Then water is evaporated. By this the lignin precipitates. The lignin is then filtered off and the solvent is recycled back, with a recovery of over 99.98 %. Repeated cycles improved the lignin removal and the solvent recovery. The cellulose is very pure and crystal white.
The process can also upgrade heavy metal impregnated waste wood. In that case electroplating in the solvent is applied to recover chrome, copper and arsenic separately from the lignin and the cellulose product streams. The economics of the processes look very promising and the company now plans to construct a pilot plant.
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