Success Story

Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Germany

Q: What is the focus of youR lab’s ReseaRch?

A: Our activities on lignin chemistry cover the extraction of lignin by the organosolv process, characterization of lignin and development of catalysts for lignin hydrogenolysis, oxidation and depolymerization.

The similarity between the chemical structures of low ranking coals and lignin encourages us to develop integrated strategies to process coal and biomass together. Our activities on coal chemistry cover the direct coliquefaction of low ranking coals and biomass to produce liquid fuels.

Furthermore, we are aiming at understanding the process of dissolution of cellulose in nonconventional solvent systems and are exploring the reactivity of cellulose in new solvent systems.

Q: What pRevious WoRkfloW challenges DiD you expeRience?

A: Many scientists generating a high number of diverse compounds need fast and direct access to the exact mass data for those compounds. Thus, we had to find a way to conduct most of the mass determination directly in our laboratory in a timely and cost-efficient way.

Q: Why DiD you incoRpoRate the expRession cMs into youR laboRatoRy?

A: The purchase of Advion expression compact mass spectrometer reveals to be an excellent investment. We are performing analyses of complex samples (e.g., lignin, cellulose and coal products) in a multi-user environment. As such, the Advion device is very easy to operate as well as a robust and very reliable mass spectrometer, surpassing all the expectations that we had for an affordable device.

Dr. Roberto Rinaldi