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Open AccessArticle

Fabrication and Characterization of Graphene Microcrystal Prepared from Lignin Refined from Sugarcane Bagasse

1
State key Laboratory of Bioenergy Enzyme Technology, National Engineering Research Center for Non-Food Biorefinery, Guangxi Academy of Sciences, Nanning 530007, China
2
Gordon Life Science Institute, 53 South Cottage Road, Belmont, MA 02478, USA
3
Institute of Surface Micro and Nano Materials, Xuchang University, Xuchang 461000, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(8), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8080565
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
Graphene microcrystal (GMC) is a type of glassy carbon fabricated from lignin, in which the microcrystals of graphene are chemically bonded by sp3 carbon atoms, forming a glass-like microcrystal structure. The lignin is refined from sugarcane bagasse using an ethanol-based organosolv technique which is used for the fabrication of GMC by two technical schemes: The pyrolysis reaction of lignin in a tubular furnace at atmospheric pressure; and the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of lignin at lower temperature, followed by pyrolysis at higher temperature. The existence of graphene nanofragments in GMC is proven by Raman spectra and XRD patterns; the ratio of sp2 carbon atoms to sp3 carbon atoms is demonstrated by XPS spectra; and the microcrystal structure is observed in the high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) images. Temperature and pressure have an important impact on the quality of GMC samples. With the elevation of temperature, the fraction of carbon increases, while the fraction of oxygen decreases, and the ratio of sp2 to sp3 carbon atoms increases. In contrast to the pyrolysis techniques, the HTC technique needs lower temperatures because of the high vapor pressure of water. In general, with the help of biorefinery, the biomass material, lignin, is found to be qualified and sustainable material for the manufacture of GMC. Lignin acts as a renewable substitute for the traditional raw materials of glassy carbon, copolymer resins of phenol formaldehyde, and furfuryl alcohol-phenol. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene microcrystal; glassy carbon; lignin; bagasse; biorefinery; graphene; biomass graphene microcrystal; glassy carbon; lignin; bagasse; biorefinery; graphene; biomass
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tang, P.-D.; Du, Q.-S.; Li, D.-P.; Dai, J.; Li, Y.-M.; Du, F.-L.; Long, S.-Y.; Xie, N.-Z.; Wang, Q.-Y.; Huang, R.-B. Fabrication and Characterization of Graphene Microcrystal Prepared from Lignin Refined from Sugarcane Bagasse. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 565.

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