2020 journal article
A Quantitative Comparison of the Precipitation Behavior of Lignin from Sweetgum and Pine Kraft Black Liquors
BIORESOURCES, 15(3), 5464–5480.
Lignin is a by-product of the pulp and paper industry that can be precipitated by acidification from black liquor as a potential feedstock for valuable green materials. Precipitation and quantification of lignin from softwood black liquors have been documented and commercialized with well-established methods; however, applying those methods to the precipitation of lignin from hardwood black liquors has produced low lignin yields. A need to understand the main differences between hardwood and softwood lignin precipitation prompted the current investigation. Multiple black liquor samples from sweetgum and pine pulping were obtained at different times of standard kraft cooks. Two lignin fractions were precipitated from each of these black liquors, one at pH 9.5 and one at pH 2.5. Detailed lignin and carbohydrate material balances were performed around each of the sample sets, starting with the wood and ending with precipitated lignin fractions. For all conditions tested, the amount and purity of pine lignin precipitated were superior to sweetgum lignin. The maximum recovery for sweetgum lignin was 69.7%, while for pine lignin, it was 90.9%.