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The Lignin-First Approach for the Full Valorisation of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 LIGNINFIRST project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the LIGNINFIRST project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "LIGNINFIRST" about.

lignin    protecting    realised    fractionation    intended    early    passivation    groups    plant    engineering    ni    catalytic    extraction    reaction    catalysis    deconstruction    aldehyde    upstream    release    lignocellulose    added    catalysts    scientific    molecular    gt    depolymerisation    conversion    constitutes    hydrogenolysis    outcome    transfer    biorefineries    delignified    benefits    intrinsically    occurring    60    reactions    mono    utilisation    first    released    eccl    aromatic    profound    chemistry    accelerate    pioneering    pot    anticipated    yield    feedstock    revolutionising    catalysed    multidisciplinary    gain    intermediates    solvolytic    cooking    renders    linkages    discovery    advancing    manner    emerge    ketone    concurrent    sponge    reactivity    stage    ether    initial    oligomers    fragments    undertaking    wood    risk    recondensation    insights    synergy    ligninfirst    tissue    biomass    downstream    biorefining    hydrodeoxygenation    interdependent    pulps    full    border   

Project "LIGNINFIRST" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LONDON
postcode: SW7 2AZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙999˙756 €
 EC max contribution 1˙999˙756 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-03-01   to  2022-02-28


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Early-stage Catalytic Conversion of Lignin (ECCL), or the ‘Lignin-First’ approach, constitutes an emerging multidisciplinary research field targeting the valorisation of lignin. ECCL involves the concurrent extraction and catalytic conversion of the lignin fragments released from plant biomass in a one-pot process. In this manner, ECCL benefits from the intrinsically high reactivity of the lignin oligomers, leading to further depolymerisation (via hydrogenolysis of ether linkages) and, most importantly, to the passivation of the intermediates (via hydrodeoxygenation of aldehyde and ketone groups), thus protecting the lignin fragments from recondensation. In short, this novel approach renders a high yield of mono-aromatic products (>60%) and highly delignified pulps, allowing for the full utilisation of lignocellulose. LIGNINFIRST objectives will be achieved by high-risk/high-gain research into: (1) understanding (and control over) the solvolytic release of lignin fragments; (2) advancing the molecular understanding of H-transfer reactions catalysed by sponge Ni catalysts to accelerate the discovery of catalytic methods for lignin valorisation, and; (3) reaction engineering of the interdependent processing steps for fractionation of the initial biomass feedstock (catalytic upstream biorefining) to the intended value-added products (catalytic downstream processing). The full impact of LIGNINFIRST will be realised by undertaking pioneering research at the border of Wood Chemistry, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering. The most significant anticipated outcome is a profound understanding of the synergy between deconstruction of lignin, occurring in the plant tissue throughout the ‘cooking process’, and ECCL. The new scientific insights that will emerge from the implementation of this proposal have the great potential for revolutionising the utilisation of lignin in biorefineries.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Matheus Henrique dos Santos, Antonio Aprigio da Silva Curvelo, Roberto Rinaldi
Aproveitamento de ligninas: O papel da catálise nas etapas iniciais do refino de materiais lignocelulósicos
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Biomassa: Estrutura, Propriedades e Aplicações 2019-11-07
2019 Zafar Sultan, Inês Graça, Yueqin Li, Sérgio Lima, Ludmila G. Peeva, Daeok Kim, Mahmood A. Ebrahim, Roberto Rinaldi, Andrew G. Livingston
Membrane Fractionation of Liquors from Lignin‐First Biorefining
published pages: 1203-1212, ISSN: 1864-5631, DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201802747
ChemSusChem 12/6 2019-10-31
2018 Roberto Rinaldi, Robert Woodward, Paola Ferrini, Hebert Rivera
Lignin-First Biorefining of Lignocellulose: the Impact of Process Severity on the Uniformity of Lignin Oil Composition
published pages: , ISSN: 0103-5053, DOI: 10.21577/0103-5053.20180231
Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society 2019-10-31
2018 Martin Kessler, Robert T. Woodward, Narumi Wong, Roberto Rinaldi
Kinematic Modeling of Mechanocatalytic Depolymerization of α-Cellulose and Beechwood
published pages: 552-561, ISSN: 1864-5631, DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201702060
ChemSusChem 11/3 2019-10-08
2018 Robert T. Woodward, Martin Kessler, Sérgio Lima, Roberto Rinaldi
Hypercrosslinked microporous polymer sorbents for the efficient recycling of a soluble acid catalyst in cellulose hydrolysis
published pages: 2374-2381, ISSN: 1463-9262, DOI: 10.1039/C8GC00573G
Green Chemistry 20/10 2019-10-08
2018 Jakob Hilgert, Sérgio Lima, Atte Aho, Kari Eränen, Dmitry Yu. Murzin, Roberto Rinaldi
The Impact of Salts Formed by the Neutralisation of (Ligno)Cellulose Hydrolysates on the Hydrogenation of Sugars
published pages: 2409-2416, ISSN: 1867-3880, DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201702051
ChemCatChem 10/11 2019-10-08
2018 Ilton Barros Daltro de Castro, Inês Graça, Laura Rodríguez-García, Marco Kennema, Roberto Rinaldi, Fabian Meemken
Elucidating the reactivity of methoxyphenol positional isomers towards hydrogen-transfer reactions by ATR-IR spectroscopy of the liquid–solid interface of RANEY® Ni
published pages: 3107-3114, ISSN: 2044-4753, DOI: 10.1039/C8CY00491A
Catalysis Science & Technology 8/12 2019-10-08
2018 Carlos A. S. Lanziano, Silvia F. Moya, Dean. H. Barrett, Erico Teixeira-Neto, Reginaldo Guirardello, Felipe de Souto da Silva, Roberto Rinaldi, Cristiane B. Rodella
Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Anatase as a Bifunctional Catalyst for Enhanced Production of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural from Glucose in Water
published pages: 872-880, ISSN: 1864-5631, DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201702354
ChemSusChem 11/5 2019-10-08
2018 Zhengwen Cao, Michael Dierks, Matthew Thomas Clough, Ilton Barros Daltro de Castro, Roberto Rinaldi
A Convergent Approach for a Deep Converting Lignin-First Biorefinery Rendering High-Energy-Density Drop-in Fuels
published pages: 1118-1133, ISSN: 2542-4351, DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2018.03.012
Joule 2/6 2019-10-08
2018 Inês Graça, Robert T. Woodward, Marco Kennema, Roberto Rinaldi
Formation and Fate of Carboxylic Acids in the Lignin-First Biorefining of Lignocellulose via H-Transfer Catalyzed by Raney Ni
published pages: 13408-13419, ISSN: 2168-0485, DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b03190
ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 6/10 2019-10-08
2018 Michael Dierks, Zhengwen Cao, Jinesh C. Manayil, Jeganathan Akilavasan, Karen Wilson, Ferdi Schüth, Roberto Rinaldi
Impact of Hydrophobic Organohybrid Silicas on the Stability of Ni 2 P Catalyst Phase in the Hydrodeoxygenation of Biophenols
published pages: 2219-2231, ISSN: 1867-3880, DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201702001
ChemCatChem 10/10 2019-10-08

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