Sustainable production of dopamine hydrochloride from softwood lignin

Nat Commun. 2023 Aug 17;14(1):4996. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-40702-2.


Dopamine is not only a widely used commodity pharmaceutical for treating neurological diseases but also a highly attractive base for advanced carbon materials. Lignin, the waste from the lignocellulosic biomass industry, is the richest source of renewable aromatics on earth. Efficient production of dopamine direct from lignin is a highly desirable target but extremely challenging. Here, we report an innovative strategy for the sustainable production of dopamine hydrochloride from softwood lignin with a mass yield of 6.4 wt.%. Significantly, the solid dopamine hydrochloride is obtained by a simple filtration process in purity of 98.0%, which avoids the tedious separation and purification steps. The approach begins with the acid-catalyzed depolymerization, followed by deprotection, hydrogen-borrowing amination, and hydrolysis of methoxy group, transforming lignin into dopamine hydrochloride. The technical economic analysis predicts that this process is an economically competitive production process. This study fulfills the unexplored potential of dopamine hydrochloride synthesis from lignin.

PMID:37591869 | PMC:PMC10435513 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-40702-2


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