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Molecules 2018, 23(3), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23030633

Production of Micro- and Nanoscale Lignin from Wheat Straw Using Different Precipitation Setups

Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, 1060 Vienna, Austria
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Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 11 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lignin for Energy, Chemicals and Materials)
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Abstract

Micro- and nanosize lignin has recently gained interest due to its improved properties compared to standard lignin available today. As the second most abundant biopolymer after cellulose, lignin is readily available but used for rather low-value applications. Applications for lignin in micro- to nanoscale however, ranging from improvement of mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites, have bactericidal and antioxidant properties and impregnations to hollow lignin drug carriers for hydrophobic and hydrophilic substances. This research represents a whole biorefinery process chain and compares different precipitation setups to produce submicron lignin particles from lignin containing an organosolv pretreatment extract from wheat straw. A batch precipitation in a stirred vessel was compared with continuous mixing of extract and antisolvent in a T-fitting and mixing in a T-fitting followed by a static mixer. The precipitation in the combination of T-fitting and static mixer with improved precipitation parameters yields the smallest particle size of around 100 nm. Furthermore, drying of particles did not influence the particle sizes negatively by showing decreased particle diameters after the separation process. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignin; lignocellulose; nanoparticles; microparticles; biorefinery; organosolv; wheat straw; direct precipitation lignin; lignocellulose; nanoparticles; microparticles; biorefinery; organosolv; wheat straw; direct precipitation
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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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Beisl, S.; Loidolt, P.; Miltner, A.; Harasek, M.; Friedl, A. Production of Micro- and Nanoscale Lignin from Wheat Straw Using Different Precipitation Setups. Molecules 2018, 23, 633.

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