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Lignin as a UV Light Blocker—A Review

by Hasan Sadeghifar 1,* and Arthur Ragauskas 2,3,4,5,*
1
R&D Laboratory, Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V) Company, West Groton, MA 01452, USA
2
Center for BioEnergy Innovation (CBI), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
3
Joint Institute for Biological Sciences, Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
4
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-2200, USA
5
Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, Center for Renewable Carbon, The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Knoxville, TN 37996-2200, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051134
Received: 18 April 2020 / Revised: 29 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 May 2020 / Published: 15 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Lignin Value-Added Polymers)
Lignin is the by-product of pulp and paper industries and bio-refining operations. It is available as the leading natural phenolic biopolymer in the market. It has chromophore functional groups and can absorb a broad spectrum of UV light in range of 250–400 nm. Using lignin as a natural ingredient in sunscreen cream, transparent film, paints, varnishes and microorganism protection has been actively investigated. Both in non-modified and modified forms, lignin provides enhancing UV protection of commercial products with less than a 10% blend with other material. In mixtures with other synthetic UV blockers, lignin indicated synergic effects and increased final UV blocking potential in compare with using only synthetic UV blocker or lignin. However, using lignin as a UV blocker is also challenging due to its complex structure, polydispersity in molecular weight, brownish color and some impurities that require more research in order to make it an ideal bio-based UV blocker. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignin chemistry; lignin chromophores; sunscreen; UV protection film; sunlight protection lignin chemistry; lignin chromophores; sunscreen; UV protection film; sunlight protection
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Sadeghifar, H.; Ragauskas, A. Lignin as a UV Light Blocker—A Review. Polymers 2020, 12, 1134.

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