Metal-Free Biomass-Derived Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals (Bio-EPFRs) from Lignin Pyrolysis

ACS Omega. 2022 Aug 16;7(34):30241-30249. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c03381. eCollection 2022 Aug 30.

ABSTRACT

To assess contribution of the radicals formed from biomass burning, our recent findings toward the formation of resonantly stabilized persistent radicals from hydrolytic lignin pyrolysis in a metal-free environment are presented in detail. Such radicals have particularly been identified during fast pyrolysis of lignin dispersed into the gas phase in a flow reactor. The trapped radicals were analyzed by X-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and high-frequency (HF) EPR spectroscopy. To conceptualize available data, the metal-free biogenic bulky stable radicals with extended conjugated backbones are suggested to categorize as a new type of metal-free environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) (bio-EPFRs). They can be originated not only from lignin/biomass pyrolysis but also during various thermal processes in combustion reactors and media, including tobacco smoke, anthropogenic sources and wildfires (forest/bushfires), and so on. The persistency of bio-EPFRs from lignin gas-phase pyrolysis was outlined with the evaluated lifetime of two groups of radicals being 33 and 143 h, respectively. The experimental results from pyrolysis of coniferyl alcohol as a model compound of lignin in the same fast flow reactor, along with our detailed potential energy surface analyses using high-level DFT and ab initio methods toward decomposition of a few other model compounds reported earlier, provide a mechanistic view on the formation of C- and O-centered radicals during lignin gas-phase pyrolysis. The preliminary measurements using HF-EPR spectroscopy also support the existence of O-centered radicals in the radical mixtures from pyrolysis of lignin possessing a high g value (2.0048).

PMID:36061701 | PMC:PMC9434622 | DOI:10.1021/acsomega.2c03381

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