Polyoxometalate oxidation of phenolic lignin models

Vladimir A. Grigoriev, Craig L. Hill, Ira A. Weinstock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A new environmentally friendly technology for wood pulp delignification, based on the use of polyoxometalates (POMs) and oxygen, is being developed. Polyoxometalate solutions that selectively oxidize lignin under anaerobic conditions can be reoxidized by oxygen and also catalyze the aerobic mineralization of the lignin fragments to CO2 and H2O, making possible the closed-mill manufacture of paper. Model studies on the oxidation of various lignin-like soluble compounds with POMs suggest that single-electron oxidation of phenolic substructures occurs first, followed by the hydrolysis of cationic intermediates. Detailed physico-chemical studies of the solutions of the alkali-metal salts of POMs show a correlation between the reduction potentials of POMs and the rate of oxidation of a phenolic lignin model that is ascribed to ion pairing between alkali-metal cations and POM anions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-312
Number of pages16
JournalACS Symposium Series
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)


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