Preparation and Characterization of Lignin-Acrylamide Copolymer as a Paper Strength Additive

Shoujuan Wang, Yunyun Sun, Fangong Kong, Guihua Yang, Pedram Fatehi


With currently practiced technology, lignin is either incinerated in the recovery cycle of pulping or wasted in wastewater treatment systems, resulting in its underutilization. However, lignin can be converted to value-added products. In this work, the copolymerization of soda lignin (SL) and acrylamide (AM) was carried out using potassium persulphate (K2S2O8) as an initiator in an aqueous solution to prepare water-soluble lignin-acrylamide (SL-AM) copolymer as a dry strength additive. The results showed that the optimal copolymerization conditions were 7.5 AM/SL molar ratio, 3.0 wt.% (based on lignin) of K2S2O8, 90 °C, and 4 h of reaction time, which resulted in a SL-AM copolymer with 100% solubility at 10 g/L concentration at pH 7 in water, a grafting ratio of 398%, and a molecular weight of 1.94×105 g/mol. The prepared SL-AM copolymer was characterized by elemental analysis, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (H-NMR) spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). By adding 1.0 wt.% of SL-AM copolymer to the pulp, the tensile, tear, and burst strengths were increased by 23.1%, 22.7%, and 15.2%, respectively, which implies that the resultant copolymer was an effective strength additive for papermaking.


Lignin; Biorefinery; Dry strength additive; Copolymerization; Characterization

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