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Polymers 2018, 10(8), 928;

Sulfonated Lignin-g-Styrene Polymer: Production and Characterization

Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Departments, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Among sustainable alternatives for replacing fossil-based chemicals, lignin is widely available on earth, albeit the least utilized component of biomass. In this work, lignin was polymerized with styrene in aqueous emulsion systems. The reaction afforded a yield of 20 wt % under the conditions of 100 g/L lignin concentration, pH 2.5, 0.35 mol/L sodium dodecyl sulfate concentration, 5 mol/mol styrene/lignin ratio, 5 wt % initiator, 90 °C, and 2 h. The lignin-g-styrene product under the selected conditions had a grafting degree of 31 mol % of styrene, which was determined by quantitative proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The solvent addition to the reaction mixture and deoxygenation did not improve the yield of the polymerization reaction. The produced lignin-g-styrene polymer was then sulfonated using concentrated sulfuric acid. By introducing sulfonate group on the lignin-g-styrene polymers, the solubility and anionic charge density of 92 wt % (in a 10 g/L solution) and −2.4 meq/g, respectively, were obtained. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), static light scattering, two-dimensional COSY NMR, elemental analyses, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were also employed to characterize the properties of the lignin-g-styrene and sulfonate lignin-g-styrene products. Overall, sulfonated lignin-g-styrene polymer with a high anionicity and water solubility was produced. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymerization; lignin; styrene; sulfonation; sustainable polymers; characterization; NMR polymerization; lignin; styrene; sulfonation; sustainable polymers; characterization; NMR

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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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Ghavidel Darestani, N.; Tikka, A.; Fatehi, P. Sulfonated Lignin-g-Styrene Polymer: Production and Characterization. Polymers 2018, 10, 928.

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