Process for Producing Phenolic Compounds from Lignins

A process for the production of low molecular weight phenolic compounds from lignins through the pyrolysis of the lignins in the presence of a strong base. In a preferred embodiment, potassium hydroxide is present in an amount of from about 0.1% to about 5% by weight, the pyrolysis temperature is from about C. to about C. at atmospheric pressure, and the time period for substantial completion of the reaction is from about 1-3 minutes. Examples of low molecular weight phenolic compounds produced include methoxyphenols, non-methoxylated phenols, and mixtures thereof.

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