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Lignin Biopolymers in the Age of Controlled Polymerization

1
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
2
Ingevity Corporation, 5255 Virginia Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29406, USA
3
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071176
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reversible-Deactivation Radical Polymerization)
Polymers made from natural biomass are gaining interest due to the rising environmental concerns and depletion of petrochemical resources. Lignin isolated from lignocellulosic biomass is the second most abundant natural polymer next to cellulose. The paper pulp process produces industrial lignin as a byproduct that is mostly used for energy and has less significant utility in materials applications. High abundance, rich chemical functionalities, CO2 neutrality, reinforcing properties, antioxidant and UV blocking abilities, as well as environmental friendliness, make lignin an interesting substrate for materials and chemical development. However, poor processability, low reactivity, and intrinsic structural heterogeneity limit lignins′ polymeric applications in high-performance advanced materials. With the advent of controlled polymerization methods such as ATRP, RAFT, and ADMET, there has been a great interest in academia and industry to make value-added polymeric materials from lignin. This review focuses on recent investigations that utilize controlled polymerization methods to generate novel lignin-based polymeric materials. Polymers developed from lignin-based monomers, various polymer grafting technologies, copolymer properties, and their applications are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable polymers; biomass; lignin; controlled polymerization sustainable polymers; biomass; lignin; controlled polymerization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ganewatta, M.S.; Lokupitiya, H.N.; Tang, C. Lignin Biopolymers in the Age of Controlled Polymerization. Polymers 2019, 11, 1176.

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