Organosolv lignins obtained from sugar maple bark and wood were studied as adhesives for wood particleboard production. Organosolv pulping of sugar maple wood and bark was carried out in the presence of Lewis acid FeCl3
as a catalyst. The organosolv lignins recovered from this process were investigated by determination of Klason plus acid-soluble lignin content, of sugars by HPLC analysis, and of ash content. Structural characterizations of these lignins were performed by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) and by 31
P NMR. The results of the latter studies indicate that the content of free phenolic groups was more important in bark than in wood lignin. The gel permeation chromatography (GPC) analyses results suggested that the weight-average molecular mass of wood lignin was higher than that of bark lignin. The studied organosolv lignins were used for the preparation of particleboards as recovered and in combination with glyoxal or isocyanate. It was found that sugar maple bark lignin, as such or modified with isocyanate, was a more efficient adhesive than its wood counterpart. On the contrary, it was the organosolv wood lignin combined with glyoxal which was a more efficient adhesive than its bark counterpart. In combination with isocyanate, it was the sugar maple bark organosolv lignin which was determined to have the best adhesive performance of all studied lignins.
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