Production of Phenol from Kraft Lignin


There are 1.06 million ton/year worldwide of Kraft lignin (KL) available to create phenols, reducing the reliance on petroleum-derived phenols. This project is a phenol production plant from KL in Kamloops, British Columbia. The plant capacity is 40,000 ton/year of KL. The main production process is hydrolysis of KL to produce phenol using a sodium hydroxide (NaOH) catalyst and ethylene glycol (EG) solvent. The phenol then undergoes an acidification process to remove unwanted by-products. Solid wastes are then removed for phenol purification via a film evaporator. Using distillation, the solvent is recovered, and the final phenol product is collected. This process design includes energy conservation by using excess heat from a temperature drop in the process to heat other streams and capturing electrical energy from the pressure drop in a turbine. The EG and acetone used in this process are also recycled back into the process to reduce material cost and waste production. Various environmental and safety concerns need to be considered due to the harmful and hazardous materials, high temperatures, high pressures used in this process. Therefore, this process was designed to minimize the use of high temperature and pressure, where possible, to reduce energy consumption and safety hazards.


  • Cindy Zhang
  • Radhika Majmudar
  • Harminder Dosanjh
  • William Hong
  • Chloe Smith