Functionalising lignin in crude glycerol to prepare polyols and polyurethane
Muller, Louis Christiaan
Vosloo, Hermanus C.M.
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In this work, crude glycerol liquefaction of lignins produced in the pulp and paper industry, as well as an organosolv lignin (sugarcane bagasse), was studied with the ultimate aim of preparing biobased polyols for polyurethane (PU) preparation. This is a proposed strategy to valorise the byproducts of biodiesel and lignocellulose biorefineries. Size-exclusion chromatography revealed that the lignins behave differently during liquefaction based on a ranging product molecular weight (MW). The MW of the liquefaction products was concluded to be related to the phenolic and aliphatic hydroxyl group content of the respective lignins, as well as the removal of glycerol and monoacylglycerol during liquefaction. Lignin was modified to yield mostly a solid-phase product. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy suggests that crude glycerol constituents like glycerol and fatty acid esters are bound to lignin during liquefaction through formation of ether and ester bonds. Liquefaction yield further also varied with lignin type. The liquefaction products were effectively employed as bio-based polyols to prepare PU