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Molecules 2018, 23(2), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020377

Quantification and Variability Analysis of Lignin Optical Properties for Colour-Dependent Industrial Applications

1
Natural Resources Canada, CanmetENERGY, Varennes, QC J3X 1P7, Canada
2
Centre d’études des procédés chimiques du Québec (CEPROCQ), Montreal, QC H1N 1C1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lignin for Energy, Chemicals and Materials)
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Abstract

Lignin availability has increased significantly due to the commercialization of several processes for recovery and further development of alternatives for integration into Kraft pulp mills. Also, progress in lignin characterization, understanding of its chemistry as well as processing methods have resulted in the identification of novel lignin-based products and potential derivatives, which can serve as building block chemicals. However, all these have not led to the successful commercialization of lignin-based chemicals and materials. This is because most analyses and characterizations focus only on the technical suitability and quantify only the composition, functional groups present, size and morphology. Optical properties, such as the colour, which influences the uptake by users for diverse applications, are neither taken into consideration nor analysed. This paper investigates the quantification of lignin optical properties and how they can be influenced by process operating conditions. Lignin extraction conditions were also successfully correlated to the powder colour. About 120 lignin samples were collected and the variability of their colours quantified with the CIE L*a*b* colour space. In addition, a robust and reproducible colour measurement method was developed. This work lays the foundation for identifying chromophore molecules in lignin, as a step towards correlating the colour to the functional groups and the purity. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignin; colour; optical properties; biorefinery; carbon black; bioplastic; non-destructive measurement lignin; colour; optical properties; biorefinery; carbon black; bioplastic; non-destructive measurement
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Ajao, O.; Jeaidi, J.; Benali, M.; Restrepo, A.M.; El Mehdi, N.; Boumghar, Y. Quantification and Variability Analysis of Lignin Optical Properties for Colour-Dependent Industrial Applications. Molecules 2018, 23, 377.

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