2021-01-01Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/molecules26010178
Characterization of Lignin Compounds at the Molecular Level
Mass Spectrometry Analysis and Raw Data Processing
Lignin is the second most abundant natural biopolymer, which is a potential alternative to conventional fossil fuels. It is also a promising material for the recovery of valuable chemicals such as aromatic compounds as well as an important biomarker for terrestrial organic matter. Lignin is currently produced in large quantities as a by-product of chemical pulping and cellulosic ethanol processes. Consequently, analytical methods are required to assess the content of valuable chemicals contained in these complex lignin wastes. This review is devoted to the application of mass spectrometry, including data analysis strategies, for the elemental and structural elucidation of lignin products. We describe and critically evaluate how these methods have contributed to progress and trends in the utilization of lignin in chemical synthesis, materials, energy, and geochemistry.
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