Characterization of Two Novel Bio-based Materials from Pulping Process Side Streams: Ecohelix and CleanFlow Black Lignin

Anna Abbadessa, Petri Oinonen, Gunnar Henriksson

Abstract


The characteristics of two novel types of technical lignin, namely Ecohelix (EH) and CleanFlow black lignin (CFBL), isolated from two different pulping process side streams, were analyzed. EH and CFBL were analyzed in terms of general composition, chemical functionalities, molar mass distribution, and thermal stability. For comparison, two relevant types of commercially available lignosulfonate and kraft lignin were used. The results showed that EH contains a large amount of sulfonated lignin, together with carbohydrates and ash. As such, it can be considered a lignin-carbohydrate hybrid molecule. CFBL was found to contain 91.5% Klason lignin and the lowest amount of carbohydrates (0.3%). EH showed the highest content of aliphatic OH groups (5.44 mmol/g) and CFBL a high content of phenols (4.73 mmol/g). EH had a molecular weight of 31.4 kDa and a sufficient thermal stability. CFBL had the lowest molecular weight (Mw = 2.0 kDa) and thermal stability of all kraft lignins analyzed in this study. These properties highlighted that EH is a suitable building block for material development and that CFBL is a promising material for the production of biofuel and biochemicals.

Keywords


Lignin characterization; Lignin-carbohydrate complexes; Laccase; Ultrafiltered lignin; Kraft lignin; Lignosulfonate

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