I D
× COMMENTARYCOVER STORYIN THE NEWSNEWSFRONTSCHEMENTATOR + Show More
Chemical Engineering MagazineChementator Briefs
PDH catalyst Last month, Clariant's Catalyst business (Munich, Germany; www.clariant.com)…
BUSINESS NEWSTECHNICAL & PRACTICALFEATURE REPORTFACTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPSTECHNOLOGY PROFILESOLIDS PROCESSINGENGINEERING PRACTICEEQUIPMENT & SERVICESFOCUS
Focus on Pumps
Self-priming, liquid-ring pumps enable hygienic operation The CFS AS/ASH Series…
NEW PRODUCTS + Show More

Comment

Self-healing elastomers from waste lignin

By Scott Jenkins |

Lignin — a component making up 25–35% of woody biomass — is underutilized as a byproduct of biofuels production and paper-making processes. Because of its abundance, low-cost and sustainability, lignin is being investigated as a raw material for making higher-value chemicals. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; www.ornl.gov) have developed a stretchy material from waste lignin that exhibits self-healing behavior and could be used in adhesives and other industrial applications.

Scientists led by Amit Naskar extracted an oligomer from lignin with acetonitrile using an extraction method that concentrates the regions of lignin that contain carboxylic acid functional groups. The material is a uniform lignin oligomer with a high degree of carboxylic acid functionalization and a high glass-transition temperature (Tg). Then the team reacted the lignin oligomer with polyethylene glycol (PEG), forming an elastomeric material with a network of both covalent bonds and hydrogen bonds.

“This network contains both stiff phases, from the lignin, and soft phases, from the PEG,” explains Naskar. The resulting material is highly elastic, with the ability to stretch by over 2,000%, as well as very tough, Naskar says. In addition, the plentiful hydrogen bonds give the material the ability to self-heal if cut.

The new ORNL material is being investigated for a range of industrial applications, such as coatings, glues and hydrogels, where it is a possible bio-based replacement for dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, the derivative compound of dopamine that is responsible for the strong adhesion of mussels.

Related Content
Chementator Briefs
PDH catalyst Last month, Clariant's Catalyst business (Munich, Germany; www.clariant.com) launched its latest propane dehydrogenation (PDH) catalyst, Catofin 311, which…

Chemical Engineering publishes FREE eletters that bring our original content to our readers in an easily accessible email format about once a week.
Subscribe Now
Quadruple Sensor Lifetime with a Retractable Housing
Minimizing Explosion Risk Where Other Solutions Cannot
Minimizing Corrosion with Fast, Robust Gas Analysis
Lower Measurement Point Costs with Automatic pH Sensor Cleaning
Reduce the Risk of Corrosion in Fertilizer Production

View More

Live chat by BoldChat