Micro- and nanosize lignin has recently gained interest due to 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. This review focuses on the application of micro- and nanostructured lignin in final products or processes that all show potential for high added value. The fields of application are ranging from improvement of mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites, bactericidal and antioxidant properties and impregnations to hollow lignin drug carriers for hydrophobic and hydrophilic substances. Also, a carbonization of lignin nanostructures can lead to high-value applications such as use in supercapacitors for energy storage. The properties of the final product depend on the surface properties of the nanomaterial and, therefore, on factors like the lignin source, extraction method, and production/precipitation methods, as discussed in this review.
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