Photocatalytic Cleavage of β-O-4 Ether Bonds in Lignin over Ni/TiO2

Changzhou Chen, Peng Liu, Haihong Xia, Minghao Zhou, Jiaping Zhao, Brajendra Kumar Sharma, Jianchun Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is of great importance to explore the selective hydrogenolysis of β-O-4 linkages, which account for 45–60% of all linkages in native lignin, to produce valued-added chemicals and fuels from biomass employing UV light as catalyst. TiO2 exhibited satisfactory catalytic performances in various photochemical reactions, due to its versatile advantages involving high catalytic activity, low cost and non-toxicity. In this work, 20 wt.% Ni/TiO2 and oxidant PCC (Pyridinium chlorochromate) were employed to promote the cleavage of β-O-4 alcohol to obtain high value chemicals under UV irradiation at room temperature. The Ni/TiO2 photocatalyst can be magnetically recovered and efficiently reused in the following four consecutive recycling tests in the cleavage of β-O-4 ether bond in lignin. Mechanism studies suggested that the oxidation of β-O-4 alcohol to β-O-4 ketone by oxidant PCC first occurred during the reaction, and was followed by the photocatalysis of the obtained β-O-4 ketone to corresponding acetophenone and phenol derivates. Furthermore, the system was tested on a variety of lignin model substrates containing β-O-4 linkage for the generation of fragmentation products in good to excellent results.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbermolecules25092109
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2020


  • lignin
  • oxidant PCC
  • Ni/TiO2
  • photocatalyst
  • β-O-4
  • Lignin
  • Oxidant PCC
  • Photocatalyst
  • Ni/TiO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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