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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

The Effect of High Lignin Content on Oxidative Nanofibrillation of Wood Cell Wall

Jonasson, Simon; Bunder, Anne; Berglund, Linn; Hertzberg, Magnus; Niittyla, Totte; Oksman, Kristiina


Wood from field-grown poplars with different genotypes and varying lignin content (17.4 wt % to 30.0 wt %) were subjected to one-pot 2,2,6,6-Tetramethylpiperidin-1-yl)oxyl catalyzed oxidation and high-pressure homogenization in order to investigate nanofibrillation following simultaneous delignification and cellulose oxidation. When comparing low and high lignin wood it was found that the high lignin wood was more easily fibrillated as indicated by a higher nanofibril yield (68% and 45%) and suspension viscosity (27 and 15 mPa center dot s). The nanofibrils were monodisperse with diameter ranging between 1.2 and 2.0 nm as measured using atomic force microscopy. Slightly less cellulose oxidation (0.44 and 0.68 mmol center dot g(-1)) together with a reduced process yield (36% and 44%) was also found which showed that the removal of a larger amount of lignin increased the efficiency of the homogenization step despite slightly reduced oxidation of the nanofibril surfaces. The surface area of oxidized high lignin wood was also higher than low lignin wood (114 m(2)center dot g(-1) and 76 m(2)center dot g(-1)) which implicates porosity as a factor that can influence cellulose nanofibril isolation from wood in a beneficial manner.


cellulose nanofibrils; wood; lignin; TEMPO-oxidation

Published in

2021, Volume: 11, number: 5, article number: 1179
Publisher: MDPI