Abstract An attempt has been made to selectively oxidise synthetic lignin-like polymer for fine chemicals. The G- and S-type polymers (G- and S- type lignin model polymers) were synthesized using simple aromatic compounds as starting materials and then oxidised to benzaldehydes by reacting them with Co(salen) catalytic system. The reaction was characterized by measuring the change of the polymer with FTIR, C-13 NMR and GC-MS spectroscopy. The results obtained by the FTIR and C-13 NMR showed that the effects of NaOH were important and higher yield of benzaldehydes characterized by GC-MS in the presence of NaOH in the course of catalytic oxidation of the polymer demonstrated these effects. From the results, the catalyst could suitably be used in green procedures for lignin transformation.