Cleavage of organosolv lignin to phenols using nitrogen monoxide and hydrazine

Laura Elena Hofmann, Lisa-Marie Altmann, Oliver Fischer, Lea Prusko, Ganyuan Xiao, Nicholas J. Westwood, Markus R. Heinrich*

*Corresponding author for this work

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From the variety of methods known for the depolymerization of organosolv lignin, a broad range of diversely substituted aromatic compounds are available today. In the present work, a novel two-step reaction sequence is reported, which is focused on the formation of phenols. While the first step of the depolymerization strategy comprises the 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dicyano-1,4-benzoquinone (DDQ)-catalyzed oxidation of organosolv lignin with nitrogen monoxide so that two waste materials are combined, cleavage to the phenolic target compounds is achieved in the second step employing hydrazine and potassium hydroxide under Wolff–Kishner-type conditions. Besides the fact that the novel strategy proceeds via an untypical form of oxidized organosolv lignin, the two-step sequence is further able to provide phenols as cleavage products, which bear no substituent at the 4-position.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
VolumeArticles ASAP
Early online date23 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jul 2021


  • Hydrocarbons
  • Nitrogen
  • Aromatic compounds
  • Biopolymers
  • Organic polymers


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