The efficiency of project MOGHI offers an economically viable and sustainable alternative to the use of fossil fuels as source of precursor molecules, and increases the value of lignin by 10-20 times, if compared to the value of its mere energy content.
Technology and Lignin
MOGHI is a technology platform that allows conversion of lignin into bio-naphtha and relative aromatic derivatives. Naphtha itself is a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons (C5-C9), commonly obtained by fractional distillation of petroleum, and it is mostly used to produce high-octane gasoline, through a catalytic reforming process. Other typical applications are the production of fertilizers and olefins for polymer manufacturing.
MOGHI therefore enables production of a “green” naphtha, which has the same properties as fossil-based naphtha. Bio-naphtha is really a “drop-in” ingredient for the petrochemical industry and it does not require the development of any new downstream technology for its implementation. The MOGHI process is therefore a part of the game-changing concept of a bio-refinery, in which all fundamental components of biomass are exploited: sugars via PROESA™, and lignin through MOGHI.
The core of the technology is a catalytic de-oxygenation and de-polymerization of lignin, followed by a purification step and separation of the desired products. The process itself uses hydrogen, generated in situ from the reactions and re-introduced as a reagent during the process itself, together with an off-the-shelf catalyst.
Lignin is one of the main constituents of lignocellulosic biomass and has an aromatic structure; PROESA™ lignin is a co-product of the technology for 2G bioethanol production, and it is thereby in a “pure” state, due to the fact that no chemicals are added during the process.