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Wheat Straw Bio-refining. Part I: Optimization of the Microwave Radiation Process with Sulphuric Acid Pre-treatment

Demirhan, Huseyin; Fauzi, Ahmad; Skoulou, Vassiliki K; Haywood, Stephanie H.; Zein, Sharif H.


Huseyin Demirhan

Ahmad Fauzi

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Dr Vicky Skoulou
Graduate Research Director (GRD) of School of Engineering ; Senior Lecturer (Assoc. Prof.) in Chemical Engineering-Bioenergy ; PI of the B3: Biomass Waste- BioenergH2- Biochars Challenge Group of PGRs and PDRAs

Stephanie H. Haywood

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Dr Sharif Zein
Senior Fellow HEA| Reader in Biorefinery Processes and Reaction Engineering| PI of Bioref Group


Background: This study investigates the microwave-assisted acid extraction of lignin from wheat straw.

Methods: Two experimental design methods, the Central Composite Design (CCD) and the Response Surface Method (RSM) methods were used to select conditions and optimise the process. The parameters studied were: the stirring rate, H2SO4 concentration, microwave radiation power and residence time.
Results: The optimum conditions found to achieve the maximum lignin yield (wt%) from wheat straw were: 0.46M H2SO4 under microwave radiation power of 602 W at 65% of stirring rate (3200rpm) and residence time of 39min. These conditions led to a delignification of 78.5% (by weight) of the parent lignin content, which accounted for 11.8wt% on dry biomass basis; this compares to a yield of 3.35wt% for the conventional H2SO4 pre-treatment method under similar conditions.
Conclusion: This work is a first step to demonstrate the potential of innovative microwave methods to overcome the high cost of acid extraction of lignin from biomass waste.


Demirhan, H., Fauzi, A., Skoulou, V. . K., Haywood, S. . . H., & Zein, S. . . H. (2017). Wheat Straw Bio-refining. Part I: Optimization of the Microwave Radiation Process with Sulphuric Acid Pre-treatment. Current Microwave Chemistry, 4(3),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 19, 2017
Publication Date Sep 7, 2017
Deposit Date May 22, 2020
Journal Current Microwave Chemistry
Print ISSN 2213-3356
Publisher Bentham Science Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 3
Keywords Biorefinery; Lignin; Microwave sulfuric acid extraction; RSM & CCD; Wheat straw
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