Effect of the N-based ligands in copper complexes for depolymerisation of lignin

Jinhuo Dai, Sepa Yasandrika Nanayakkara, Thomas Lamb, Andrew Clark, SiXuan Guo, Jie Zhang, Antonio F. Patti, Kei Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Several organic soluble N-based ligands and their copper complexes were firstly investigated as catalysts to depolymerise organosolv lignin in the organic solvent, dimethylformamide (DMF) and an ionic liquid (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium xylenesulfonate, [emim][ABS]). The results of screening depolymerisation reactions in DMF and [emim][ABS] showed that all the copper-amine complexes catalysed lignin depolymerisation more efficiently in ionic liquids than in DMF. Among the seven types of ligands, copper complexes with two types of ligands (E)-N-(pyridin-2-ylmethylene)aniline and (E)-4-methoxy-N-(pyridin-2-ylmethylene)aniline depolymerised the lignin more efficiently than the others. These two copper complexes with the N-based ligand were further studied to determine the most efficient conditions for the depolymerisation of the lignin. The most effective depolymerisation by conditions involved treatment at 180°C for 12 h in [emim][ABS]. Cyclic voltammetric studies were carried out to investigate the reversible potential associated with the copper centers of their complexes with these N-based ligands. The results suggest that two types of ligands have more positive reversible potentials than those of other copper complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3511-3519
Number of pages9
JournalNew Journal of Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

Cite this