Process Superstructure Optimization for Resin and Aromatic Monomer Production from Kraft Lignin
Galanopoulos, Christos
Giuliano, Aristide
Koutinas, Apostolis
De Bari, Isabella
Barletta, Diego

How to Cite

Galanopoulos C., Giuliano A., Koutinas A., De Bari I., Barletta D., 2021, Process Superstructure Optimization for Resin and Aromatic Monomer Production from Kraft Lignin, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 86, 1453-1458.


Kraft lignin conversion to value-added products is an alternative way to manage the main pulp and paper secondary stream thus contributing to reducing avoid greenhouse gas emissions compared to equivalent fossil-based processes. Process simulation and integration can help to identify the most promising pathways and increase the profitability of the process. This work presents results of a comparison between the process optimization of two different potential products that were modeled and analyzed. Aromatic monomers and phenol-formaldehyde resins were considered as possible products by means of alternative process pathways, including hydrothermal liquefaction, hydrodeoxygenation, pyrolysis, dissolution with deep eutectic solvents, hot water extraction, and resin synthesis. Mixed-integer nonlinear programming was applied to optimize the superstructure and obtain the maximum lignin cost. A sensitivity analysis in terms of the final products selling price was performed to consider the market variability. Minimum selling prices of aromatic monomers and phenol-formaldehyde resins for a feasible lignin process were calculated. Maximum lignin cost larger than 100 €/t resulted acceptable only for phenol-formaldehyde resins selling price larger than 0.6 €/kg or for AM selling price larger than 1.80 €/kg. Aromatic monomers turned out to be the optimal product if its selling price is larger 1.20 €/kg and the phenol-formaldehyde resins cost is lower than or equal to 0.6 €/kg. Higher phenol-formaldehyde resins selling prices make this product more convenient.