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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(11), 3518; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19113518

The Role of Reduced Graphene Oxide toward the Self-Assembly of Lignin-Based Biocomposites Fabricated from Ionic Liquids

1
Department of Chemistry, Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey, Camden, NJ 08102, USA
2
Center for Integrative and Computational Biology, Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey, Camden, NJ 08102, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Science)
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Abstract

Lignin’s immiscibility with most polymers along with its unknown association behaviors are major factors that contribute to its disposal and processability for the production of materials. To fully utilize lignin, an improved understanding of its interaction with other materials is needed. In this study, we investigate the morphological and physicochemical properties upon the addition of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) as a function of material composition in a tertiary system comprised of lignin, cellulose and xylan. The main motivation for this work is to understand how the lignin molecule associates and behaves in the presence of other natural macromolecules, as well as with the addition of reduced graphene oxide. The fabricated biocomposites with and without rGO were investigated using Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) techniques, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). The results demonstrated that the regenerated films’ structural, morphological and thermal character changed as a function of lignin-xylan concentration and upon the addition of rGO. We also observed a dramatic change in the glass transition temperature and topography. Final analysis showed that the addition of rGO prevented the macromolecules to self-assemble through a reduction of π-π aggregations and changes in the cellulose crystallinity. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignin; reduced graphene oxide (rGO); ionic liquids; biocomposites; morphology; xylan lignin; reduced graphene oxide (rGO); ionic liquids; biocomposites; morphology; xylan
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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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Al-shahrani, D.; Love, S.A.; Salas-de la Cruz, D. The Role of Reduced Graphene Oxide toward the Self-Assembly of Lignin-Based Biocomposites Fabricated from Ionic Liquids. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 3518.

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