2023 article

Structure and property variations of mixed hardwood kraft lignins

Jiang, X., Sun, R., Kollman, M., Chang, H.-min, & Jameel, H. (2023, September 23). JOURNAL OF WOOD CHEMISTRY AND TECHNOLOGY.

author keywords: Mixed hardwood; kraft lignin; chemical structure; variation
Source: Web Of Science
Added: October 23, 2023

Abstract Kraft lignin as an emerging renewable feedstock can be used to produce fuels, chemicals, and materials. Hardwood kraft lignin bears intrinsic variation due to wood species and the isolation process. The structure and property variation of hardwood kraft lignin could introduce new challenges and opportunities for its application. To better understand such variation, seven kraft lignin samples, originated from southern mixed hardwood (North America), northern mixed hardwood (North America), and Asian mixed hardwood, were isolated from commercial kraft pulping black liquor using both LignoBoost and LignoForce processes. Modern analytical techniques were used to elucidate the characteristics of mixed hardwood kraft lignins, including chemical composition, molecular weight, functional groups, and thermal properties. All lignin samples had a lignin content over 90% (92% to 96%) with one exception, which was northern mixed hardwood kraft lignin with 86% of lignin content and 6% polysaccharides. The elemental and methoxy analyses revealed the expected variation of hardwood kraft lignins with the methoxy content ranging from 0.85 to 1.20 per C9 unit. The weight average molecular weight exhibited a higher variation (from 4800 to 1895 Da) with a descending order of southern mixed hardwood kraft lignins, northern mixed hardwood lignins, and Asian mixed hardwood lignins. The aliphatic hydroxy groups ranged from 14 to 25 per 100 C9 units, and phenolic hydroxy groups ranged from 65 to 112 per 100 C9 units. The catecholic group content ranged from 12 to 34 per 100 C9 units, which is higher than softwood kraft lignin. The lignins isolated from the rapid displacement heating (RDH) pulping process were more condensed than from the regular kraft pulping process. 2D HSQC and quantitative 13C NMR revealed the drastic structure change upon kraft pulp with the low abundance of native lignin linkages and formation of new interunit linkages, such as stilbene, enol ethers, and 1-1’/5’. The S/G ratio was calculated using 2D HSQC spectra correcting for signal shift caused by the catecholic groups.