Co-liquefaction of lignin and lignite for aromatic fuels and chemicals

Due to the rapid increase in demand for petroleum and its declining reserves, the concern over energy security has intensified the interest in liquefying coal and biomass to liquid fuels and chemicals, especially for those countries which have abundant coal reserves, such as the United States, Canada, China, etc. Co-liquefaction of coal with biomass has gained particular research interest due to the synergistic effects between biomass and coal during liquefaction. Co-liquefaction of coal with biomass could moderate the reaction conditions of coal liquefaction due to the synergistic effects between coal and biomass, and improve the quality and yields of liquid products. It would be a novel contribution to the literature and industrial practice to realize co-liquefaction of coal with biomass in a low boiling point solvent and a raw iron ore as catalyst in N2 atmosphere (without using high-pressure hydrogen). This project aims to produce aromatic chemicals by co-liquefaction of lignite coal with lignin in a co-solvent, e.g., 50 wt% methanol-water or ethanol-water using some inexpensive catalysts such as iron ores as catalysts without using high-pressure hydrogen.

Faculty Supervisor:

Charles Xu


Hooman Paysepar



Engineering - chemical / biological



Western University


Globalink Research Award

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