Functionality and physico-chemical characteristics of wheat straw lignin, BioligninTM, derivatives formed in the oxypropylation process

Arshanitsa, A.; Vevere, L.; Telysheva, G.; Dizhbite, T.; Gosselink, R.J.A.; Bikovens, O.; Jablonski, A.


The new organosolv process of wheat straw fractionation elaborated by Compagnie Industrielle de la matiere Vegetale (France) corresponds to the biorefinery approach, which allows separating cellulose, hemicel -luloses, and lignin. The straw lignin (Biolignin) is an attractive product, for which new applications are sought. In the present work, straw lignin (L) was converted into liquid lignopolyols via a batch reaction with propylene oxide (PO). The effects of the lignin content (L%) in the initial reaction mixture (L/(L+PO) on the oxypropylation process and the properties of whole lignopolyols and L/PO copolymers were studied. Almost complete disappearance of L-OHphen and L-COOH groups in copolymers was accompanied by an increase in the L-OHaliph groups’ content therein. The polydispersity (Mw/Mn) of all copolymers obtained decreased essentially compared to the reference. The extent of PO grafting onto OH groups increased with decreasing lignin content in the initial reaction mixture. At a lignin content of 15–30% in the initial reaction mixture, the lignopolyols fulfil the requirements of polyol polyethers for rigid polyurethane foam production. The further increase in the lignin content leads to the appearance of the non-liquefied fraction and the undesirable increase in the viscosity of the liquefied part.