Regenerated cellulose and willow lignin blends as potential renewable precursors for carbon fibers

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Title: Regenerated cellulose and willow lignin blends as potential renewable precursors for carbon fibers
Authors: Vincent, S
Prado, R
Kuzmina, O
Potter, K
Bhardwaj, J
Wanasekara, ND
Harniman, RL
Koutsomitopoulou, A
Eichhorn, SJ
Welton, T
Rahatekar, SS
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We report on the extraction of lignin from willow and its use to manufacture cellulose-lignin fibers as potential precursors for the manufacture of carbon fibers. The lignin from willow was extracted using triethylammonium hydrogen sulfate [Et3NH][HSO4]. The lignin extracted by this process was characterized by ATR-IR and elemental analysis, which indicated a high carbon yield. 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate [C2C1im][OAc] was then used as a common solvent to dissolve cellulose and lignin to manufacture lignin-cellulose fiber blends. The Young’s modulus of a 75:25 lignin/cellulose fiber was found to be 3.0 ± 0.5 GPa, which increased to 5.9 ± 0.6 GPa for a 25:75 lignin/cellulose blend. From a characterization of the surface morphology, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), it was observed that higher lignin content in the fiber blend increased the surface roughness. FT-IR analysis confirmed the presence of aromatic groups related to lignin in the obtained fibers from the presence of peaks located at ∼1505 cm–1 and ∼1607 cm–1. The presence of lignin improves the thermal stability of the fiber blends by allowing them to degrade over a wider temperature range. The presence of lignin also improved the carbon yield during carbonization. Therefore, the lignin-cellulose fibers developed in this work can offer an excellent alternative to pure cellulose or lignin filaments.
Issue Date: 7-May-2018
Date of Acceptance: 1-Mar-2018
ISSN: 2168-0485
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Start Page: 5903
End Page: 5910
Journal / Book Title: ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Volume: 6
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © 2018 American Chemical Society. This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Chemistry, Multidisciplinary
Green & Sustainable Science & Technology
Engineering, Chemical
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Fiber spinning
Ionic liquids
Carbon fibers
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-03-23
Appears in Collections:Chemistry
Catalysis and Advanced Materials
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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