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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; Haywood, Stephanie; Zein, Sharif H.


Huseyin Demirhan

Ahmad Fauzi

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

Stephanie Haywood


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., Haywood, S., & 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), 205-218.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 19, 2017
Publication Date Jun 30, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 4, 2018
Print ISSN 2213-3356
Publisher Bentham Science Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 3
Pages 205-218
Keywords Biorefinery, lignin, microwave sulfuric acid extraction, RSM & CCD, wheat straw.
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