Formation of Lignin Nanoparticles by Combining Organosolv Pretreatment of Birch Biomass and Homogenization Processes
AbstractValorization of lignocellulosic biomass into a biorefinery scheme requires the use of all biomass components; in this, the lignin fraction is often underutilized. Conversion of lignin to nanoparticles is an attractive solution. Here, we investigated the effect of different lignin isolation processes and a post-treatment homogenization step on particle formation. Lignin was isolated from birch chips by using two organosolv processes, traditional organosolv (OS) and hybrid organosolv-steam explosion (HOS-SE) at various ethanol contents. For post-treatment, lignin was homogenized at 500 bar using different ethanol:water ratios. Isolation of lignin with OS resulted in unshaped lignin particles, whereas after HOS-SE, lignin micro-particles were formed directly. Addition of an acidic catalyst during HOS-SE had a negative impact on the particle formation, and the optimal ethanol content was 50–60% v/v. Homogenization had a positive effect as it transformed initially unshaped lignin into spherical nanoparticles and reduced the size of the micro-particles isolated by HOS-SE. Ethanol content during homogenization affected the size of the particles, with the optimal results obtained at 75% v/v. We demonstrate that organosolv lignin can be used as an excellent starting material for nanoparticle preparation, with a simple method without the need for extensive chemical modification. It was also demonstrated that tuning of the operational parameters results in nanoparticles of smaller size and with better size homogeneity. View Full-Text
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Matsakas, L.; Karnaouri, A.; Cwirzen, A.; Rova, U.; Christakopoulos, P. Formation of Lignin Nanoparticles by Combining Organosolv Pretreatment of Birch Biomass and Homogenization Processes. Molecules 2018, 23, 1822.
Matsakas L, Karnaouri A, Cwirzen A, Rova U, Christakopoulos P. Formation of Lignin Nanoparticles by Combining Organosolv Pretreatment of Birch Biomass and Homogenization Processes. Molecules. 2018; 23(7):1822.Chicago/Turabian Style
Matsakas, Leonidas; Karnaouri, Anthi; Cwirzen, Andrzej; Rova, Ulrika; Christakopoulos, Paul. 2018. "Formation of Lignin Nanoparticles by Combining Organosolv Pretreatment of Birch Biomass and Homogenization Processes." Molecules 23, no. 7: 1822.
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