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Pyrolysis of cellulose and lignin

: Hänsel, T.; Comouth, A.; Lorenz, P.; Ahmed, S.I.-U.; Krischok, S.; Zydziak, N.; Kauffmann, A.; Schäfer, J.A.


Applied surface science 255 (2009), No.18, pp.8183-8189
ISSN: 0169-4332
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ICT ()

X-ray and UV-induced photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS and UPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have been performed to characterise the pyrolysis of cellulose and lignin and their interaction with methanol. Clean highly oriented pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) was also analysed as a reference material. Asymmetric C1s core level fits and valence band XPS of the samples indicate a graphitic-like structure after the pyrolysis at 1200 degrees C. Due to the low polar contents in pyrolysed cellulose and lignin, an interaction with methanol under high vacuum conditions could not be identified. From a technical viewpoint a temperature of 1200 degrees C is attainable without high costs. Therefore, the pyrolysis of wood-based polymers containing high amounts of cellulose and lignin are potential low-cost materials for various applications. If it is possible to generate graphite in complex structures made of wood-based polymers, a cheap and energy-efficient method will become available for producing bipolar plates for fuel cells. Technical problems like form instability and foaming are discussed as well as further development and possible modifications of the ground material to achieve optimal compositions.