Computational Study on the Thermal Decomposition of Phenol-Type Monolignols

Yuki Furutani, Yuki Dohara, Shinji Kudo, Jun Ichiro Hayashi, Koyo Norinaga

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8 Citations (Scopus)


A detailed chemical kinetic model has been developed to theoretically predict the pyrolysis behavior of phenol-type monolignol compounds (1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one, HPP; p-coumaryl alcohol, 3-hydroxy-1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)propan-1-one, HHPP; 1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane-1,3-diol, HPPD) released from the primary heterogeneous pyrolysis of lignin. The possible thermal decomposition pathways involving unimolecular decomposition, H-addition, and H-abstraction by H and CH3 radicals were investigated by comparing the activation energies calculated at the M06–2X/6–311++G(d,p) level of theory. The results indicated that all phenol-type monolignol compounds convert to phenol by side-chain cleavage. p-Coumaryl alcohol decomposes into phenol via the formation of 4-vinylphenol, whereas HPP, HHPP, and HPPD decompose into phenol via the formation of 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde. The pyrolytic pathways focusing on the reactivity of the hydroxyl group in HPP and producing cyclopentadiene (cyc-C5H6) were also investigated. The transition state theory (TST) rate constants for all the proposed elementary reaction channels were calculated at the high-pressure limit in the temperature range of 300–1500 K. The kinetic analysis predicted the two favorable unimolecular decomposition pathways in HPP: the one is the dominant channel below 1000 K to produce cyc-C5H6, and the other is above 1000 K to yield phenol (C6H5OH).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-316
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Chemical Kinetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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