2-Phenylethyl phenyl ether (FR-0538, CAS 40515-89-7) or 1-phenoxy-2-phenylethane is a liquid with a slight, pleasant odor, boiling at 165°C at 14 mm. It is readily available from Frinton Laboratories, Inc. in small to medium quantities. 2-Phenylethyl phenyl ether represents the basic and simplest skeleton of lignin, a complex heterogeneous polymer available from the biomass in very large quantities and it is a potentially enormous and underutilized resource of valuable chemicals. The dominant interunit linkage in lignin is the arylglycerol ß-aryl ether (ArCHRCHROAr) which, when stripped of its substituents leaves 2-phenylethyl phenyl ether. Thus 2-phenylethyl phenyl ether as a basic representative of lignin has been extensively studied as a model for the thermal pyrolysis of lignin.

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