CH-Bioforce’s Lari Vähäsalo and Sebastian Von Schoultz are among the authors of an article entitled “Tailored Thermosetting Wood Adhesive Based on Hardwood Lignin Fractions”. This new study shows that the molar mass of lignin is the key factor in the production of a high-performance phenol replacement lignin.
The research demonstrates a clear structure–property-application relationship of technical hardwood lignin in the lignin-containing phenol-formaldehyde (LPF) adhesive field, which might pave the way for more effective bulk valorization. The multinational study, led by Åbo Akademi, is published by ACS Publications.
“At CH-Bioforce we support scientific research and we often provide biopolymers from our fractionation process to the scientific community,” Lari Vähäsalo says. “It is a privilege to work with dedicated scientists from around the world. Cooperation with Åbo Akademi has always been fruitful and exciting,” he says, and thanks his colleagues and co-authors for their collaboration on the article.
“The results of this work clearly show that the molar mass of lignin is the key factor in the production of a high-performance phenol replacement lignin to be used in phenol resins. CH-Bioforce’s lignin generally has a rather low molar mass, but these findings encourage us to put more effort into optimizing our lignin extraction process to produce purer lignin with even lower molar mass in the future.”
Lignin constitutes about a third of wood biomass. Lignin is, by nature, a branched and cross-linked polymer which contains both hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups. It has therefore found a myriad of applications as an emulsifier, dispersant, binder, adhesive and additive in industries as diverse as construction, agriculture, water treatment, oil drilling, and ore processing. Lignin can also be turned into plastic for injection moulding and even bio-based carbon fibres.
You can read the complete article, including findings and methods, here: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c05408